CHICAGO — Robinson Cano’s drive landed on top of the wall in right-center and bounced into the seats.
Such is life these days for the sweet-swinging Seattle slugger.
Cano hit a three-run shot on his first cut since his winning homer in the All-Star Game, helping James Paxton and the Mariners beat the Chicago White Sox 4-2 on Friday night.
Jean Segura added two hits and scored twice as Seattle started a six-game trip with its third win in four games. Paxton (8-3) struck out nine while pitching six effective innings in his third straight victory.
“This is the second half when every game means more and every game means a lot,” Cano said, “so (we’ve) got to win games so we can keep ourselves in the race.”
Cano, who went deep in the 10th inning of the American League’s 2-1 victory Tuesday night in Miami, walked on four pitches in the first. He came up again with two on and one out in the third and belted James Shields’ first pitch for his 18th homer, giving the Mariners a 3-1 lead.
The 34-year-old Cano is batting .413 (38 for 92) with six homers and 20 RBI in his career against Shields (2-2).
“Obviously, I didn’t want to throw the ball down the middle to Cano,” Shields said. “I wanted to get it inside, off the plate a little bit.”
Cano also singled in the seventh against David Holmberg. The second baseman has seven homers and 21 RBI in his last 17 games.
Fellow All-Star Avisail Garcia had two hits, swiped two bases and scored twice for the last-place White Sox, who have dropped five of six. It was Chicago’s first game since trading left-hander Jose Quintana to the crosstown Cubs on Thursday.
“Everybody understands the impact that he’s made to us as a club, but they also understand that we’ve got to keep playing,” manager Rick Renteria said. “I mean, the season’s not going to stop. They know they have to go out there and do what they’re supposed to do and contribute to their teammates and to the club.”
The White Sox pulled within one on Matt Davidson’s double in the fourth. But Segura doubled and scored on Shields’ wild pitch in the fifth, making it 4-2 Mariners.
That was more than enough for Paxton, who allowed five hits. Tony Zych, a native of nearby Monee, Illinois, and Nick Vincent each got three outs before Edwin Diaz worked the ninth for his 14th save in 17 chances.
Led by Paxton, the Mariners struck out 15 and walked none.
“It’ll work,” Paxton said. “Getting the legs under me a little bit. Started to feel better in that fifth and sixth inning there, kind of got going a little bit.”
Shields was charged with seven hits and walked three. He has allowed at least one home run in seven of his eight starts this year.
Feel the glove
White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson robbed Ben Gamel of a hit with a terrific leaping catch in the seventh.
Moving on up
Nasusel Cabrera has been promoted to interim bullpen coach for the Mariners. Cabrera joined Seattle’s major league staff in July 2015. He was working as a batting practice pitcher and assisting with other jobs. Cabrera replaces Mike Hampton, who resigned on Sunday. Hampton spent parts of 16 seasons in the majors with six different teams and was a two-time All-Star.
Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez and White Sox right-hander Mike Pelfrey start the second game of the series Saturday night. Hernandez (4-3, 4.44 ERA) pitched six sharp innings in Seattle’s 4-0 win against Oakland on Sunday. Pelfrey is 1-3 with a 5.24 ERA in his last nine games, seven starts.