NEW YORK – Robinson Cano hit a grand slam and drove in a career-high six runs, CC Sabathia extended his home winning streak to 15 decisions and the New York Yankees routed the Seattle Mariners 10-0 on a rain-slicked field Sunday.
Austin Kearns and Jorge Posada also homered for the Yankees, who notched another win minus slugger Alex Rodriguez. New York is a confounding 12-0 this season without the three-time MVP, placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday with a strained left calf.
Cano is a big reason for all that success. Making his own bid for an MVP award, the All-Star second baseman launched his 25th home run in the fifth inning off Luke French (2-4) on the first pitch following an intentional walk to Mark Teixeira.
Cano's fourth career slam sailed into a rarely reached section of bleachers beyond the Yankees' bullpen, making it 5-0. Bumped up to A-Rod's cleanup spot, Cano homered in four wins on a 5-2 homestand against a pair of struggling teams, helping the Yankees (77-47) improve to a season-best 30 games over .500.
It was the 10th grand slam of the season for the AL East leaders, matching a franchise mark set in 1987 when Don Mattingly slugged a record six. Cano has two this year, both off left-handed pitchers.
Entering the day, no other team in the majors had more than six grand slams.
Following a 57-minute rain delay in the middle of the sixth, Cano added a bases-loaded, two-run single off left-hander Chris Seddon to cap a three-run inning. Moments earlier, Eduardo Nunez's grounder through the hole skidded to a sudden stop in a right-field puddle, forcing Ichiro Suzuki to splash through the wet grass and retrieve it as Nunez raced easily to second with a bizarre double.
Sabathia (17-5) held Seattle hitless until the fifth and became the AL's first 17-game winner. He tied Colorado's Ubaldo Jimenez and St. Louis' Adam Wainwright for the major league lead in wins.
The big lefty is 15-0 with a 2.17 ERA in his past 20 regular-season starts at Yankee Stadium since the 2009 All-Star break. The team said it's the longest home winning streak by a New York pitcher since Ron Guidry won 16 decisions in a row from 1985-86, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Sabathia, who has won four consecutive starts and is 13-2 with a 2.32 ERA in 16 outings since June 3, was pulled following the rain delay. He allowed three hits over six innings, striking out eight and walking none for his third victory in three starts against the punchless Mariners this year.
Last-place Seattle, shut out for the AL-high 11th time this season, had won a season-best four straight series before dropping two of three games at Yankee Stadium. The Mariners are 5-4 on a 12-game road trip that continues Monday in Boston, their longest since 2004.
Kerry Wood and Joba Chamberlain finished the six-hitter.
Kearns hit a solo shot in the fourth, extending his season-high hitting streak to 11 games with his second homer since the Yankees acquired him from Cleveland on July 30.
Seattle nearly tied it in the fifth. Franklin Gutierrez led off with a double, then ran through a late stop sign and tried to score on Adam Moore's soft single to right. Posada picked Nick Swisher's strong throw to the plate but slapped Gutierrez with an empty glove — the ball was in his bare hand.
Apparently, plate umpire Sam Holbrook didn't notice that. Gutierrez, who did not appear to touch the plate as he slid by, was called out immediately.
NOTES: Mariners LF Michael Saunders sat out with a sore right shoulder that's been bothering him on and off since he banged into the outfield wall at Safeco Field on Aug. 5 against Texas. Matt Tuiasosopo started in LF. ... RHP Ivan Nova joined the Yankees after he was called up from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre but didn't even have a nameplate above his locker yet. Nova, who made two scoreless relief appearances for New York in May, will get his first major league start Monday night in Toronto. He was 12-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 23 starts at Triple-A. "This is a big opportunity for me," Nova said. "But you've got to be able to relax and enjoy it." ... Russell Branyan's last five hits were homers before a sixth-inning single. ... Cano's other grand slam this season came May 28 off Cleveland's Tony Sipp.