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Robinson Cano hits three-run home run in Yankees' win over Diamondbacks

04/16/2013 11:02 PM ET
By Joe Auriemma

Robinson Cano gazes at his three-run in the Yankees' 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks.(AP)
On a day that celebrated Jackie Robinson day at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees earned the 4-2 victory over the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks because of two men so closely tied to the late great Robinson.

Robinson Cano, who was named after Jackie Robinson and wears number 24 in his honor, put on a hitting display and his three run home run was the difference in the game. Cano thrives on Jackie Robinson Day and over the last five seasons on the day the Yankees celebrate the man who broke the color barrier on April 15, 1947, and changed the game and society forever, he is now 9-for-his-last-19, with 4 home runs and eight RBIs. He had two hits in this game and the home run was the difference maker.

"Robbie got going and we got going as a team," Girardi said after the game. "The big three run homer tonight ends up being the game winning hit, but it seems like when he got hot, our offense took off a little bit."

The Yankees have now won six of their last seven to improve to 7-5 on the season after starting off 2013, 1-4.

Cano's three run blast gave the Yankees a 3-2 lead at the time and the game was preserved and saved by none other than the only man allowed to wear the number 42 on a daily basis in Major League Baseball, Mariano Rivera. Rivera, being the only player to be grandfathered in to being allowed to wear Jackie Robinson's number has a connection with not only Robinson, but the widow of Jackie, Rachel, who is still a very visable presence in baseball, even at the age of 90.

There was no other fitting way to end the game with the last number 42 to close out the game.

Rivera even acknoledged that winning on this day is even more special be saying, "That's what we normally try to do, win everyday, but today's special."

Girardi had a little fun with the fact that everyone wears 42 on this day to honor the Hall of Famer Robinson and that Rivera got the last outs.

 

"It's kind of funny seeing 42 face three 42's," Girardi said.

Lost in the shuffle was gutty start by Ivan Nova (1-1), who battled through five innings to earn the win and the performance of a bullpen that has struggled at times early on this season to hold down the fort. Boone Logan's four out performance was especially a positive sight for the Yankees, who need their key left-hander out of the bullpen to turn his early season negative fortunes around.

"I thought our bullpen did a tremendous job starting with Boone getting the four hitters he faced," Girardi said. "Then Joba getting the two and Robbie (David Robertson) doing what he did; I thought our guys did a great job."

Gritty pitching performances, timely hitting by their best all-around player and the greatest closer of all-time locking down the victory and the Yankees gave a performance that was a tribute to the late, great Jackie Robinson.

You can follow Joe Auriemma on Twitter: @JoeAuriemmaYES

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