WBC MVP Robinson Cano keeps it going vs. Twins

The Dominican Republic's Robinson Cano celebrates after defeating

The Dominican Republic's Robinson Cano celebrates after defeating Puerto Rico to win the championship of the 2013 World Baseball Classic. (March 19, 2013) (Credit: Getty)

TAMPA, Fla. -- Robinson Cano, the MVP of the World Baseball Classic, returned to the Yankees and was in the lineup Thursday night against the Twins.

Cano, who hit .469 (15-for-32) with two homers and six RBIs for the unbeaten WBC champion Dominican Republic, went 1-for-2 against Minnesota. He accounted for the Yankees' only hit in a 6-1 loss.

"The last couple of days [I've gotten] a lot of rest,'' Cano said. "It's good. It's a great feeling knowing people back home . . . the way they celebrated. I know the Dominican was ready for this title. So happy to be part of that team.''

Now Cano is happy to be part of the Yankees again. The No. 3 hitter knows Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson will be on the disabled list on Opening Day, and that Derek Jeter might be. So he's needed.

"I hopefully can continue to do the same thing I do every year,'' said Cano, who is in the last year of his contract. "Just go out and play hard and do anything to win games. Hopefully the guys we have help us to just stay in the race until Granderson and Teixeira are back.''

Oddly, Cano is scheduled to play a day game after a night game Friday in Fort Myers, a two-hour bus ride away. The final WBC game was Tuesday night in San Francisco.

Extra basesRighthander David Phelps did not pitch well Thursday night, allowing five runs and six hits in 32/3 innings. He walked three, struck out six and committed a throwing error on a pickoff attempt . . . Hiroki Kuroda and Phil Hughes will pitch in a minor-league game Friday. Ivan Nova will face the Twins in Fort Myers . . . Mariano Rivera allowed a leadoff hit but then struck out the side in his inning . . . Drew Butera hit a three-run double in the Twins' five-run fourth.

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