Considering the role Robinson Cano's disappointing season has played in the Seattle Mariners' struggles, a resurgence from the second baseman may be exactly what the team needs for a turnaround.
After lifting the Mariners to a thrilling win, Cano look to stay hot in Wednesday's series finale with the visiting Detroit Tigers.
Offense had been difficult to come by for Seattle (39-45), which entered Tuesday last in the majors with 3.41 runs per game, but several marquee players finally stepped up in a 7-6, 11-inning victory over Detroit (42-41).
Austin Jackson snapped a 3-for-21 slump to match a career-high with four RBIs, and Cano - whose .665 OPS sits significantly below his career mark of .847 - delivered a home run and the walk-off single.
It was the first walk-off hit for Cano since Aug. 28, 2009, with the New York Yankees, and he is now 12 for 30 (.400) with six runs this month.
''I been feeling good in my swing the whole year, been hitting a lot of balls hard, but when you start getting hits it's different. It's less thinking for you," Cano said. "To be able to come through in that situation where we've been having trouble the whole year, especially myself, doing our job with men in scoring position.''
A similar showing Wednesday will have to come against Anibal Sanchez (7-7, 4.65 ERA). The right-hander posted two scoreless outings June 9-15, and although he has failed to match that dominance of late, he has four wins with a 2.61 ERA in his last five starts.
Sanchez, who touted a 5.69 ERA through his first 12 starts, carried a no-hitter into the eighth inning Friday but ultimately allowed four runs in an 8-6 win over Toronto. He has averaged more than 110 pitches over his last eight outings.
"Sanchy did a great job," manager Brad Ausmus told MLB's official website Friday. "I think he got a little weary at the end. Pitch count was up. When you get tired, you lose a little bit of your control, but he did, obviously, an outstanding job."
J.A. Happ (4-5, 3.93) goes for Seattle after finally snapping a four-start losing streak with six solid innings on Friday to beat Oakland 9-5. The left-hander surrendered three runs and eight hits while not walking a batter for the first time in 13 outings.
"'Trust the process, hold the vision' is one of the quotes I kept trying to tell myself in my head," Happ said. "You just have put your work in and trust that it's going to pay off and sooner or later we're going to make it happen."
Happ's previous success against Detroit bodes well for another win Wednesday. He owns a 2.30 ERA in three career meetings - his second-lowest against any AL opponent.
The Tigers were held to a single-digit hit total for the first time in eight games Tuesday, but their power remained evident with a second consecutive four-homer game - Detroit's first back-to-back contests with four or more home runs since Games 5 and 6 of the 2011 AL Championship Series.
Yoenis Cespedes and Nick Castellanos each homered, and J.D. Martinez went deep in Monday's 12-5 win for his 11th home run since June 21.
Martinez is hitting .379 with a 1.402 OPS and 23 RBIs in his last 14 games.