Matt Slocum, Associated Press
NEW YORK — 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 Sunday.
And just like that, the Tigers once again tagged the Yankees, taking a 2-0 lead in the AL championship series.
An MVP-caliber player for much of the summer, Cano has been a playoff bust.
He is hitless in a postseason record 26 straight at-bats and 2 for 32 overall (.063). His 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.
Then he 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 third out, the Tigers turned it into a two-run eighth and expanded their lead.
A week shy of his 30th birthday, Cano is looking forward to a nine-figure contract when he can become a free agent after next season. Instead of boosting his resume, he's become a big factor in transforming the Bronx Bombers into Bronx Busts this month.
Cano grounded out four times Sunday, and his 0-for broke the previous mark of 24 for a single postseason set by Baltimore's Bobby Bonilla in 1996, according to STATS LLC.
By the end of the game, fans were booing him as loudly as they jeered Alex Rodriguez.
Derek Jeter's broken ankle seems to have left most of the rest of New York's batting order hurting, too, with Raul Ibanez, Mark Teixeira and Ichiro Suzuki the only consistent threats.
The Yankees got just four hits, and gave them a .205 average (53 for 258) in the playoffs. They were 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position, dropping to 10 for 50.
Rodriguez took a called third strike on a changeup in the second and struck out on a checked swing in the fourth, throwing his bat. Fans mocked him with applause when he flied out to left in the seventh, and then he singled with two outs in the ninth. That left him 3 for 23 with no RBIs in the postseason, including 0 for 18 with 12 strikeouts against right-handers.
Curtis Granderson was 0 for 3 with three strikeouts and a walk, falling to 3 for 26 with 14 Ks. Nick Swisher singled and is a relatively robust 4 for 26. Russell Martin was hitless in four at-bats and is 5 for 26.
Hiroki Kuroda had taken a perfect game into the sixth inning and was on the verge of escaping trouble in the seventh. Following Quintin Berry's leadoff double over Granderson in center and a single to right by Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, Kuroda struck out Prince Fielder and induced a grounder to shortstop from Delmon Young.
Jayson Nix, starting in place of Jeter, made a good throw to second, where Cano stepped on the bag, But in transferring the ball for the throw to first, Cano allowed the ball to pop out of his right hand as Berry scored.
Kuroda tied his season high with 11 strikeouts, allowing five hits and three runs in 7 2-3 innings. But the Yankees, looking like the old team that they are, have scored just 20 runs in seven postseason games, a figure more appropriate for 1968 than 2012.
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