Just over four years ago, Robinson Cano belted a three-RBI home run off of Rangers right-hander Tanner Scheppers. The Mariners eventually lost the game by a score of 8-6, but the moment held some significance for their second baseman: It was his first home run since he inked a massive 10-year, $240 million contract with Seattle that winter.
On Sunday, Cano collected his 100th home run for the club: a two-run, 398-footer off of Josh Tomlin in the second inning of the Mariners’ series finale against the Indians. The blast capped a five-run inning, giving the Mariners an early advantage that they subsequently tried to return to the Indians in the bottom of the frame.
With 304 career homers, Cano sits 10th on the active list behind Albert Pujols (619 home runs), Miguel Cabrera (465), Adrian Beltre (463), Edwin Encarnacion (354), Jose Bautista (331), fellow Mariner Nelson Cruz (328), Curtis Granderson (322), Adrian Gonzalez (313) and Ryan Braun (307). He wasn’t the only one to go deep against the Indians on Sunday, either: Ryon Healy launched two home runs off of Tomlin and Nick Goody, while Mitch Haniger saved a solo shot for the ninth inning against Zach McAllister. The Mariners won, 10-4.
The Braves clinched a postseason berth with Saturday’s 10-1 win over the Nationals. Now, the only question is whether they’ll get there with an NL East division title or via one of two wild card spots currently up for grabs.
Granted, things are looking pretty good on the division title front. After losing their second straight game to the Braves, the Nationals sit 10.5 games back of first place in the NL East, and every other division rival is at least 15 games out. The Braves, meanwhile, carry a magic number of four; should they clinch, it’ll be their 19th franchise title and 14th since they migrated to the East division in 1994.
They certainly looked like postseason contenders on Saturday. Mike Foltynewicz led the charge with six innings of one-run, five-strikeout ball, limiting the Nationals to four hits while rookie right-hander Austin Voth kept the Braves scoreless through 5 2/3 frames. Things started to tip in Atlanta’s favor in the sixth inning: Nick Markakis put the team on the board with an RBI single, and a four-run breakout in the seventh helped cement a sizable lead. Over the last three innings, the Braves found opportunity after opportunity against the Nationals’ bullpen, capitalizing on walks, throwing errors, and productive outs as they climbed toward a double-digit finish.
The win didn’t come without some sacrifice, however. The Braves lost Charlie Culberson to a facial injury after he was struck by a Fernando Rodney fastball in the seventh inning, and they’ll likely be without him for the remainder of the regular season — pending a formal diagnosis, of course. Culberson’s loss isn’t the only one the club is feeling right now, either, as Johan Camargo ended his season with a hairline fracture in his right shin and Freddie Freeman is playing through a minor bout of elbow soreness after making an early exit from Friday’s 5-0 shutout.