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Mariners lose Robinson Cano to right hand fracture

Mariners All-Star Robinson Cano suffered a fracture on his right hand Sunday. (AP)

DETROIT – The Mariners are going to be without Robinson Cano for some time.

Mariners fall 5-4 to Tigers on walk off

How long remains to be seen, but about an hour after he was hit on the right hand by an 88 mph fastball thrown by Tigers starter Blaine Hardy, it was announced that he had suffered a fractured right metacarpal.

Cano, who is hitting .287 with 4 home runs and 23 RBIs, grabbed the hand and immediately dropped to the ground after getting hit by the pitch. Trainer Rob Nodine and manager Scott Servais rushed to the plate to check on him. After a brief conversation with Nodine, Cano came out of the game.

In the clubhouse after the Mariners’ 5-4 loss, Cano, with his arm wrapped from fingertips to elbow, gave a little bit more detail on what he was dealing with.

“It is broken bad,” he said. “We will see what the specialist says tomorrow. Maybe surgery and we will go from there.”

Preliminary X-rays were taken at the stadium, and now Cano will travel to Philadelphia to see a hand specialist on Tuesday. Often fractures of the fifth metacarpal can heal without surgery, but in some cases surgery is recommended. Regardless, the Mariners are going to be without Cano for at least a few weeks.

“It’s frustrating,” Cano said, “(with) the way we have been playing. But you have got to go with whatever God gives you. It can be something worse, but you have got to take your time and recover 100 percent and come back and play again.”

Because of his history in playing through a number of injuries, dings and dents, Cano leaving the field was an ominous sign. Andrew Romine replaced him in the game.

After the game, Servais told the media that a decision on a replacement had yet to be made and that he and general manager Jerry Dipoto would soon talk about that. It does not appear that moving first-year center fielder Dee Gordon back to second base is an option.

“Not at this point, no,” Servais answered when asked about Gordon, who has won a Gold Glove at second. “We will have to wait and see what is best for the ball club and how long Robbie is actually going to be out and make decisions from there. We will look for other internal options at second base and go from there.”

The two names that come to mind immediately are Gordon Beckham and Taylor Motter. While Motter has been the go-to infield guy for the past year, he is hitting just .198 at Triple-A Tacoma right now. Beckham, who has considerable big league everyday experience at second, is hitting .300 with a .912 OPS, 19 walks and 14 strikeouts. He is not currently on the 40-man roster but the Mariners have an open spot. Jon Heyman has reported that Beckham has a May 15 opt out in his contract.

This is yet another a blow for a Mariners lineup that has already seen Nelson Cruz, Ryon Healy and Mike Zunino miss time this season. Cano hopes his teammates pick up in his absence the way they did with the others. In the meantime, he said he will do his part to keep his head up.

“It’s going to be tough, but the last thing I can do is put my head down and just keep thinking about it. Go get the surgery if I need the surgery, go do the rehab and come back strong. Keep fighting. I know sometimes you miss a guy but things move on and you have got to keep playing. Keep winning and keep playing good so whenever I get back we are still in the race.”

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