Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Painful Victory

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Painful Victory

Article excerpt

TORONTO - A wincing Robinson Cano knelt between home plate and the Yankees dugout, the waves of pain pulsating in his left hand.

Using his good right hand, Cano banged his helmet in frustration on the Rogers Centre artificial turf.

At that moment in Tuesday night's first inning, Cano would've been willing to bet that Toronto starter J.A. Happ's inside fastball had just caused a fracture at the base of his left hand on the pinkie side.

"It was close to the bone. Maybe missed it by an inch," Cano said after X-rays came back negative and the Yankees had dodged what would have been their costliest injury in a black-and-blue season.

With Cano diagnosed as day to day with a contusion, the Yankees could better enjoy the power surge that produced a 7-1 victory before 34,047 fans.

Alfonso Soriano hit home run Nos. 399 and 400 in his first two at- bats, and Mark Reynolds and Alex Rodriguez also went deep in support of Andy Pettitte - who delivered seven shutout innings.

Afterward, the Yankees could exhale a bit. Cano said he figures he could play again Friday after sitting out tonight's series finale and resting on Thursday's off-day.

And following an injury scare of his own, Eduardo Nunez - Cano's replacement at second base -- hopes to be a player tonight.

Moving to cover second base on Jose Reyes' eighth-inning hit, Nunez suddenly crumpled to the fake turf after his spike caught a seam. Nunez twisted his right knee badly enough that he thought he'd cracked a kneecap.

Nunez checked out fine in a postgame examination. "It's just sore right now," said Nunez, who went from writhing in pain to remaining in the game and getting a ninth-inning single.

But Nunez was replaced for a pinch runner and corner infielder Mark Reynolds - with only two innings of big-league experience at second base - played the position in the ninth.

"We're down a few guys. Anything I can do," said Reynolds, who hadn't played second base since 2007.

"A good win," Pettitte said after the Yanks (70-62) remained 4 1/ 2 games out of the second AL wild-card berth. "We played some good defense, the guys scored some runs and they allowed me to be aggressive."

Pettitte (10-9) gave up just five hits and two walks while Happ (3-4) was knocked out in the fifth, but only after he had KO'd Cano. …

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