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with Oakland in a 9-8
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OAKLAND Josh Donaldson Jersey , Calif. (AP) — Robinson Cano is back in the major leagues with the Seattle Mariners after serving an 80-game drug suspension.The eight-time All-Star has a new position — first base, for the first time — and a new spot in the batting order, too.“It feels great to be back, especially the way the team is playing,” Cano said before the game. “I’m excited. I was waiting for this moment.”Cano’s first game was fairly nondescript. He went 1 for 4 with a single in the Mariners’ 3-2 loss to the Oakland Athletics and played error-free in his new position.Cano arrived in Oakland late Monday, woke up early Tuesday and was at the Coliseum taking batting practice underneath the outfield stands three hours before the scheduled first pitch.“It was really hard, I’m not going to lie,” Cano said. “It was so hard watching the game from home knowing that (I) should be in there. My daughter was the thing that kept me positive. That was the biggest thing, being around my family.”The 35-year-old Cano rejoins a Seattle team that is in the middle of a playoff race. The Mariners entered the day 1 ½ games behind the Athletics for the second AL wild-card spot. Cano would be ineligible for postseason play if his team makes it.Cano was batting second after hitting third in 39 games before getting suspended. He was hitting .287 with four home runs and 23 RBIs when he was penalized.“It’s been a long wait for Robbie,” Seattle manager Scott Servais said. “We’ve hung in there. We’ve put ourselves in a position where these games are very important and he’ s anxious to get back out there and help us.”Cano was suspended May 15 after testing positive for Furosemide, a diuretic that can be used to mask performance-enhancing drugs. The former New York Yankees second baseman underwent surgery to repair the fractured metacarpal in his right hand shortly after the suspension was announced.During his suspension, Cano worked out privately Joe Carter Jersey , spent some time at home in the Dominican Republic and played in the minor leagues before getting reinstated.It was during his time in the minors that Cano was approached about making a switch to first base for the first time in his career. Cano has played 1,995 games at second base, one at shortstop and 48 as designated hitter during his 14-year career.The change was made in part because Cano is ineligible for the postseason. Dee Gordon has played well at second base since the suspension and the coaching staff wants him to get as much work there as possible.“I had a chance to sit down with Robbie earlier today and talk through some things with him and what the plan is going forward,” Servais said. “Nothing is set in stone. Just trying to give him a heads up. He’s willing to do whatever’s asked of him.”Changing positions has been an adjustment, Cano acknowledged.“I don’t want to say difficult. I just want to say I’m not used to it,” Cano said of playing first base. “It’s good with me. It’s not about myself. It’s about the team. It’s about help the team to keep winning games and help the team to make it to the playoffs. No matter where they need me, I’ll be ready for (it).”Several of Cano’s teammates, including Nelson Cruz, Denard Span and Gordon, attended Cano’s pregame news conference in support.That session a team meeting in which Cano addressed the Mariners players and coaches.“I told them I want to give my best and that I apologize man-to-man that I let the team down,” Cano said. “We’re all on the same page. From the beginning of spring training, we all want to make it to the playoffs. (I know) that I’m not going to play http://www.bluejaysfanproshop.com/authen...app-jersey , but I want to help the team make it to the playoffs.” CHICAGO (AP) — Manager Joe Maddon and the Chicago Cubs insist they still have plenty left to make another deep run in the postseason.What they don’t have is room for error.The Cubs will host the Colorado Rockies in the wild-card game on Tuesday after both teams lost tiebreaker games for their division championships.“We’re not dead in the water,” Maddon said.The Cubs will send ace Jon Lester (18-6, 3.32 ERA) to the mound, hoping to keep their season going after a 3-1 loss to Milwaukee for the NL Central championship at Wrigley Field on Monday.They’ll be back at the old ballpark again, trying to eliminate Colorado after the Rockies dropped a tiebreaker for the NL West to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-2. Kyle Freeland (17-7, 2.85) starts for the Rockies, and the winner gets Milwaukee in the best-of-five Division Series starting Thursday at Miller Park.Colorado and the Cubs split six games this year, each scoring 33 runs. They haven’t faced each other since early May.NL home run champion Nolan Arenado and the Rockies (91-72) had won nine of 10 before getting shut down by rookie Walker Buehler in a 5-2 loss on Monday. Colorado has never won its division.“Excited about it,” manager Bud Black said. “It’s going to be a great environment tomorrow at Wrigley. Their manager and I go way back. This team enjoys playing on the big stage.”Charlie Blackmon, who had two of Colorado’s four hits Monday, called it “an amazing opportunity.”“The fact of the matter is we have a chance to win the World Series,” he added.The Cubs (95-68) reached the playoffs for a franchise-record fourth straight year and had a third consecutive division championship in sight Kendrys Morales Jersey , only to be pushed aside by the surging Brewers.But the Cubs are also a tough team to keep down.They have three straight appearances in the NL Championship Series and a World Series championship in 2016 that ended a 108-year drought. They’re no strangers to tight spots and they find themselves in another one, after Milwaukee caught them down the regular-season stretch.The Brewers won four of six against Chicago in September to help forge the tiebreaker game after the Cubs went from trailing them by 4 1/2 games in the division to leading by five. Milwaukee pulled even on the final weekend.The Cubs then managed just three hits Monday against Jhoulys Chacin and four relievers. They were also held to one run or less for the 39th time even though they ranked fourth in the National League in scoring.“We have another opportunity,” Maddon said. “I’ve been involved with wild card teams that have gone all the way. It happens.”Maddon was the Los Angeles Angels’ bench coach in 2002 when they won the World Series as a wild card. And the Cubs have certainly won their share of elimination games the past four seasons.They beat Pittsburgh in the wild card-game in 2015 after finishing third in the division behind St. Louis and the Pirates. In 2016, they rallied from 3-1 down in the World Series and won Game 7 at Cleveland to bring home the first championship in 108 years. And they beat Washington in a grueling Division Series last year, winning Game 5 on the road.“This is nothing new to us,” outfielder Jason Heyward said.They feel confident with Lester, who will become the first pitcher to start two wild-card games. He gave up six runs to the Royals in 2014 while with Oakland in a 9-8, 12-inning loss.Lester was 6-1 with a 1.71 ERA in his final eight starts. He has been particularly stingy in the postseason throughout his career, going 9-7 with a 2.55 ERA in 25 games and 21 starts.The Cubs endured a long list of injuries and players not performing the way they anticipated, whether it was Yu Darvish making just eight starts after signing a $126 million contract or Kris Bryant making two trips to the disabled list because of inflammation in his left shoulder.Anthony Rizzo got off to a slow start before going on a tear. Willson Contreras slumped after the All-Star break.Nothing has come easily. There were difficulties along the way. And there’s some disappointment surrounding them even though they’re once again in the postseason.“It’s definitely a little different,” Rizzo said. “But that whole narrative switches (Tuesday) if we win the ballgame.”
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