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Patience at the plate helps Yankees' Robinson Cano

Second baseman leads the major leagues in batting and is on pace to drive in 100 runs.

June 26, 2010|By DeAntae Prince

New York Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano drove in 85 runs last season, a very respectable number.

His current hitting streak has him on pace to surpass that total by year's end.

Cano has a major-league-best .361 batting average and 50 RBI near the season's halfway mark, landing him in the top 10 in the American League.

Cano, who has a .413 on-base percentage and 53 runs, said he has become more patient at the plate. Viewing more pitches also helped him to hit .400 in April and .357 in June, he said.

"I've worked hard all season like always," he said. "I will say one of the differences is I'm not striking out and not chasing pitches like I used to in the past."

Strikeouts have come more sparingly for Cano each season. He struck out 85 times in 2007, 65 times in 2008 and 63 times in 2009. He has struck out 35 times this season.

After a 2009 season in which he batted .320 and scored 103 runs, Cano said he

"didn't expect this kind of year."

Rodriguez home run a sign of improvement

Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez looked as if he'd regained the swing that had eluded him for much of the season when he hit a home run to left field in the Yankees' 2-1 win over the Dodgers on Friday night.

Rodriguez is batting only .254 in June but had two home runs in his last three games entering Saturday.

He said he felt his swing come around "a little bit" before the Yankees' first game against the Dodgers.

"It goes back to the Mets," Rodriguez said of the Yankees' mid-June Subway Series. "I had a couple good swings in that series that I felt good about. I've been doing a lot of work with [Yankees hitting coach] Kevin Long."

Rodriguez said he is not worried about his power hitting.

"I do like hitting for quick contact, driving in runs," Rodriguez said. "I'll probably continue to try to do that."

Aceves getting back in shape

Yankees pitcher Alfredo Aceves, who went on the disabled list because of a bulging disk on May 11, is slowly working his way back into game shape. Yankees Manager Joe Girardi said Saturday that Aceves will throw off a mound on Monday, the first time since his injury.

deantae.prince@latimes.com

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