Robinson Cano has stopped hitting homers since the Seattle Mariners have gone home and they have stopped winning games.
The Mariners look to avoid the first 0-5 home start in franchise history Tuesday night, and Cano hopes his slump will end with a favorable matchup against Texas Rangers starter Derek Holland in the middle game of this series.
Cano was one of baseball's hottest hitters when he homered four times with seven RBIs as Seattle took two of three at Texas last week to open the season.
He has gone 2 for 16 since with 10 straight hitless at-bats after getting to the plate four times in Monday's 7-3 defeat that dropped Seattle (2-5) to 0-4 at home for the first time since 2004. The Mariners have never started worse.
They have totaled seven runs while batting .169 at home. Nelson Cruz was the lone bright spot Monday with a two-run homer and RBI double with no other Seattle hitter recording an extra-base hit.
“We struggled to put consistent quality at-bats together,” Mariners manager Scott Servais said. “It just isn't happening right now. What are you going to do? You just got to keep battling, keep fighting through it, and eventually we will come out of it.”
Cano is hitting .176 against left-handers, although he could get back on track Tuesday. The second baseman is a career .405 hitter versus Holland in 37 at-bats, going 7 for 12 over the two previous seasons.
Holland allowed three runs in five innings Thursday without a decision in a 4-3 loss at the Los Angeles Angels. He went 1-2 with a 7.13 ERA in three starts versus the Mariners in 2015 after going 8-2 with a 2.90 ERA in his first 14 starts against them.
Another Seattle hitter he has had trouble with is Adam Lind, who is 6 for 15 off him.
Lind, however, is struggling with one hit in 17 at-bats with his new team and the lefty-swinging slugger isn't expected to start with right-handed Dae-Ho Lee likely getting the start at first base.
Texas (4-4) has no such issues with its offense Monday after finishing with a season-high 14 hits, with everyone but the struggling Ian Desmond finishing with one. Ryan Rua went 3 for 4 and Rougned Odor drove in three runs.
Catcher Brett Nicholas was 2 for 4 with two runs scored in a major league debut that was extra special. He left tickets for his 92-yard grandfather, who played baseball in the Seattle area in the 1940s and '50s.
“It has always been my dream to leave tickets for my grandfather at Safeco Field, and today I did,” Nicholas told the Rangers' official website. “He is a legendary player around here.”
Another rookie, Nomar Mazara, has started the last two games and gone 5 for 8 with his first homer Sunday.
Seattle will start Wade Miley, who faces Texas again after yielding five runs over six innings with seven strikeouts in Wednesday's 9-5 comeback victory. Prince Fielder hit a go-ahead three-run homer off Miley in the sixth inning that day.
The left-hander, acquired from Boston in the offseason, will make his home debut in his first start at Safeco Field.