A year ago, Cano went 2-for-4 with a double, homer and two RBI against the Rays.
Thursday he took it a step further.
While the anniversary for Robinson breaking the color barrier is not only a special day for baseball, but for all of society, it clearly takes on an extra special meaning for Cano, who was named for Robinson and wears 24 in honor of Jackie, who wore 42, retired throughout baseball with only Mariano Rivera the only active player still allowed to wear it every day.
“If it wasn’t for him, who knows where I would be,” Cano told the Journal News.Fortunately, there was Jackson Robinson, Cano is a Yankee, and he led the Bombers in a big way Thursday.
Hughes delivered, pitching into the sixth, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out six. He threw 66 of a career-high 108 pitches for strikes, throwing only five of his newly developed changeups against a team scouting reports said had left-handed hitters that were good changeup hitters.
The only cause for concern was that Hughes did walk five batters. But his fastball was lively and his curve and cutter sharp, allowing to work his way around those free passes.
And really, he made just one mistake all game -- though it was one mistake Yankees fans did not mind seeing as Hideki Matsui led off the second inning and turned on a 1-and-0, 92 mph fastball and put it into the stands in right, his first hit in 10 at-bats in his return to Yankee Stadium to give the Angels a 1-0 lead.
Yankees fans had been waiting for that moment, and while some jumped all over the fans for booing Javier Vazquez and his miserable outing Wednesday, those same people today ought be praising the classy and dignified way those fans paid tribute to a player in Matsui, who gave them everything he had and actually brought home a World Championship.
But the Angels' lead didn't last long, thanks to Cano, who led off the Yankees' half of the inning with a laser into the front rows in right to tie it.
From there, the Yankees just went to work against Kazmir, who allowed six runs on eight hits and three walks in four innings.
Curtis Granderson hit the first of his two triples to drive in Marcus Thames in the fourth before scoring on Derek Jeter's double to push the lead to 4-1.
Cano then put the hammerlock down the Angels, crushing a two-run homer in the fifth to make it a 6-1 lead the Angels would have no shot at overcoming.
Mike Napoli led off with a walk and Erick Aybar hit a grounder that Jeter couldn't come up with for a single. That meant that with everyone wearing No. 42 on this day, it was time to go to the only player who wears 42 every day.
And of course, Rivera finished it off with ease.
Tonight vs. Rangers, 7:05 p.m., YES
C.J. Wilson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. CC Sabathia (1-0, 3.46)