NEW YORK (AP) — Hitless at the plate, Robinson Cano isn't getting a break with the umpires, either.
The slumping All-Star second baseman could only plead his case to no avail Sunday after a missed call by an umpire helped the Detroit Tigers beat the New York Yankees 3-0.
And just like that, the Tigers once again tagged the Yankees, taking a 2-0 lead in the AL championship series.
"We've just got to forget about these two games," Cano said.
And the task doesn't figure to get easier in Game 3 at Detroit on Tuesday, when the Yankees face AL MVP Justin Verlander.
"Maybe a little change of scenery might be good," Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez said. "It's definitely not an ideal situation. You'd rather be up 2-0 and facing a Triple-A pitcher. That would be nice."
An MVP-caliber player for much of the summer, Cano has been a fall flop — all the more stunning given that he finished the regular season with 24 hits in his final 39 at-bats.
And it's not just him. Four-hit by Anibal Sanchez and Phil Coke in Game 2, the Yankees are batting .205 in the playoffs (53 for 258), including 10 for 50 with runners in scoring position.
"We've been through stretches like this all year," said Rodriguez, hitting .130 (3 for 23) with no RBIs. "It's been a very volatile stock market for us this year."
Cano is hitless in 26 straight at-bats, a record for a single postseason, and 2 for 32 overall (.063).
"It is odd," manager Joe Girardi said. "You know this is a really, really good hitter that is struggling right now, and he's not getting a lot of pitches to hit."
Cano's failure to run hard out of the batter's box has become glaring. And he let the ball pop out of his hand in the seventh inning, allowing Detroit's first run to score on Delmon Young's grounder instead of trying for an inning-ending double play.
"He is capable of making it. He knows that he has to get rid of it quickly," Girardi said. "I am not sure if he gets rid of it quickly he is safe. He knows it's going to be a bang-bang, so he has to hurry."
Then Cano wound up on the wrong side of a call by second base umpire Jeff Nelson, who missed seeing Cano tag Omar Infante. Instead of the Yankees getting the third out, the Tigers expanded their lead with a two-run eighth.
"If it was the right call, it'd be a different game," Cano said.
A week shy of his 30th birthday, Cano is looking forward to a nine-figure contract after the 2013 season, when he can become a free agent. Instead of revving his resume, he's become a big factor in the Bronx Bombers' transformation into Bronx Busts.