Cron's pinch-hit home run in 8th sends Angels over Rays 4-3

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) C.J. Cron isn't necessarily happy about his reduced role with the Los Angeles Angels this season. But when playing time does come, he's determined to make the most of it.

Cron did just that Sunday as a pinch hitter, connecting for a tiebreaking, two-run homer in the eighth inning and powering the Angels to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.

''It's nothing I can control, so I'm just going to go out there and do whatever I can to help the team,'' Cron said. ''However many at-bats it is per week, I'm going to be ready for them and thankfully today I was able to help out a little bit.''

It was 2-all when Cron swung at the first pitch he saw from Adam Kolarek and sent it into the right field seats. Cron had a simple mindset to keep Kolarek, who entered after Andrelton Simmons singled with one out off Jumbo Diaz (1-4), from getting settled.

''Be ready to hit,'' Cron said. ''It's been a little bit since I've had an at-bat and didn't want to give him a pitch there. Wanted to be aggressive because that's the kind of hitter I am and fortunately it was a good pitch to him and put a good swing on it.''

Cron was making just his fourth appearances for the Angels this month, but came through with the club's first pinch-homer since Jefry Marte on June 9, 2016.

David Hernandez (1-0) got rewarded for one inning of scoreless relief as the Angels avoided a three-game sweep, but only after escaping a jam in the ninth to hold off the Rays.

Trailing 4-2, the Rays scored once in the ninth and loaded the bases with one out. Bud Norris got Tim Beckham to ground into a double play for his 14th save, ending the Rays' four-game winning streak.

Evan Longoria doubled off Norris and Logan Morrison singled. Steven Souza Jr. hit an RBI single and a walk loaded the bases for Beckham, who promptly hit it to Simmons. Cron said the game-ending 6-4-3 double play was a given when it ended up with the sure-handed defender.

''Simmons makes every play, so I knew we were going to get them there,'' Cron said.

Albert Pujols put the Angels ahead in the fifth with an RBI single. Martin Maldonado squeezed home another run in the sixth, with Simmons scoring just ahead of catcher Jesus Sucre's tag.

Morrison hit his 26th homer, a two-run drive off Parker Bridwell that tied it in the seventh. Bridwell struck out eight and allowed six hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Chris Archer gave up two runs on five hits with nine strikeouts in six innings. The Rays missed a chance to complete their first road series sweep since June 2016.

''That stunk, but really happy with the way the guys responded there in the ninth,'' Rays manager Kevin Cash said. ''We just came up a little bit short.''

JUNIOR JERED?

When Bridwell first stepped onto the mound, Cash was reminded of Jered Weaver. Outside of one pitch to Morrison that Bridwell said just broke a bit too much over the plate, he delivered a performance more than reminiscent of the long-time Angels ace.

''Real thin and you could tell he had some deception,'' Cash said. ''We couldn't figure out their pitcher. They couldn't quite figure him out until LoMo came up with the big two-run homer to tie it.''

While Angels manager Mike Scioscia pointed out the flaws in Cash's comparison, noting different styles in delivery and approach, Bridwell is starting to put together outings to invite such connections. He has gone at least six innings in each of his last four starts, giving some relief to the overworked bullpen. Bridwell didn't give up a run in last start before the All-Star break, though the logistics of roster management resulted in a busy travel schedule.

Bridwell was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake after picking up the win against Minnesota to free up a roster spot, joining the minor league affiliate for a road series in El Paso, Texas before returning to Utah for a regular bullpen session. After taking a couple days off during the All-Star Game, Bridwell returned to Salt Lake for another workout to prepare to rejoin the Angels.

''I understood just cause they didn't need five starters. It's always better when you can carry people you can use,'' Bridwell said of the juggling.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Rays: C Wilson Ramos could return to action Monday after missing the last two games with a tweaked hamstring.

Angels: 2B Danny Espinosa was designated for assignment after hitting .162 in 77 games this season. Nick Franklin got the start at 2B against the Rays, going 1 for 3 with a walk, and is expected to platoon with Cliff Pennington going forward.

UP NEXT

Rays: RHP Jake Odorizzi (5-4, 4.63 ERA) spent the All-Star break trying to address his inconsistent mechanics and will get to test those adjustments when the Rays open a three-game series at Oakland on Monday.

Angels: RHP Jesse Chavez (5-10, 4.99) will try to break a three-game losing streak when the Angels open a two-game series against the Washington Nationals on Tuesday. Chavez has won just one of his last nine starts and hasn't picked up a victory at home since May 15.

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123456789RHE
RaysTB49-44
000000201390
AngelsLAA46-49
00001102X480
  • W: D. Hernandez (1-0)L: J. Diaz (1-4)S: B. Norris (14)
  • HR: TB - L. Morrison (26), LAA - C. Cron (3)
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
M. Smith CF40000001.311.381.394.7750.0
C. Dickerson LF40000020.312.353.545.898-1.0
E. Longoria 3B42300010.267.322.444.7655.5
L. Morrison 1B41221011.257.365.571.9367.5
P. Bourjos PR00000000.242.294.432.7260.0
S. Souza RF40210010.271.370.502.8722.5
B. Miller DH20000210.201.347.327.6740.5
T. Beckham 2B40100023.274.326.431.7560.0
A. Hechavarria SS30100011.257.267.327.5950.5
J. Sucre C30000021.248.267.389.656-1.0
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    C. Maybin LF30000122.236.340.366.7060.0
    K. Calhoun RF30100112.241.322.379.7011.5
    M. Trout CF40100022.337.457.7141.1710.0
    A. Pujols DH40110012.241.287.391.6781.5
    Y. Escobar 3B30100112.287.346.412.7581.5
    A. Simmons SS42300013.291.341.440.7815.5
    L. Valbuena 1B20000103.186.267.344.6111.0
    a- C. Cron 1B11121000.220.271.333.6047.0
    M. Maldonado C30010022.244.304.398.7020.0
    N. Franklin 2B31000102.180.274.280.5542.0
    • a-homered for Valbuena in the 8th
    BATTING
    • 2B - E. Longoria (24)
    • HR - L. Morrison (26)
    • RBI - L. Morrison 2 (61), S. Souza (58)
    BATTING
    • 2B - A. Simmons (23)
    • HR - C. Cron (3)
    • SH - M. Maldonado (5)
    • RBI - A. Pujols (56), C. Cron 2 (16), M. Maldonado (27)
    • 2-Out RBI - A. Pujols (22)
    BASERUNNING
    • CS - B. Miller (2)
    • Picked Off - M. Smith
    FIELDING
    • DP - A. Hechavarria, E. Longoria, L. Morrison
    FIELDING
    • Outfield Assist - C. Maybin (5)
    • DP - C. Cron, A. Simmons, N. Franklin
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    C. Archer6.05225903.911.2713.5
    T. Hunter1.01000101.951.052.5
    J. Diaz (L, 1-4)0.11110005.701.57-7.0
    A. Kolarek0.21110015.401.20-2.0
    PITCHERSIP
    C. Archer6.0
    T. Hunter1.0
    J. Diaz (L, 1-4)0.1
    A. Kolarek0.2
    PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
    P. Bridwell6.16221813.181.3616.0
    B. Parker0.20000102.480.950.5
    D. Hernandez (W, 1-0)1.00000102.641.0810.5
    B. Norris (S, 14)1.03111102.351.105.5
    PITCHERSIP
    P. Bridwell6.1
    B. Parker0.2
    D. Hernandez (W, 1-0)1.0
    B. Norris (S, 14)1.0
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - C. Archer 107-63, T. Hunter 8-6, J. Diaz 8-6, A. Kolarek 3-3
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Archer 3-6, T. Hunter 1-0, A. Kolarek 2-0
    • Batters Faced - C. Archer 28, T. Hunter 3, J. Diaz 2, A. Kolarek 3
    PITCHING
    • Pitches-Strikes - P. Bridwell 96-63, B. Parker 6-3, D. Hernandez 15-12, B. Norris 14-9
    • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - P. Bridwell 6-3, D. Hernandez 1-1, B. Norris 1-0
    • Batters Faced - P. Bridwell 24, B. Parker, D. Hernandez 3, B. Norris 6
    PLAYERS OF THE GAME
    123456789RHE
    RaysTB49-44
    000000201390
    AngelsLAA46-49
    00001102X480
    HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
    M. Smith CF40000001.311.381.394.7750.0
    C. Dickerson LF40000020.312.353.545.898-1.0
    E. Longoria 3B42300010.267.322.444.7655.5
    L. Morrison 1B41221011.257.365.571.9367.5
    P. Bourjos PR00000000.242.294.432.7260.0
    S. Souza RF40210010.271.370.502.8722.5
    B. Miller DH20000210.201.347.327.6740.5
    T. Beckham 2B40100023.274.326.431.7560.0
    A. Hechavarria SS30100011.257.267.327.5950.5
    J. Sucre C30000021.248.267.389.656-1.0
    Total3239312117-----
      HITTERSABRHRBIHRBBSOLOBAVGOBPSLGOPSFPTS
      C. Maybin LF30000122.236.340.366.7060.0
      K. Calhoun RF30100112.241.322.379.7011.5
      M. Trout CF40100022.337.457.7141.1710.0
      A. Pujols DH40110012.241.287.391.6781.5
      Y. Escobar 3B30100112.287.346.412.7581.5
      A. Simmons SS42300013.291.341.440.7815.5
      L. Valbuena 1B20000103.186.267.344.6111.0
      a- C. Cron 1B11121000.220.271.333.6047.0
      M. Maldonado C30010022.244.304.398.7020.0
      N. Franklin 2B31000102.180.274.280.5542.0
      Total30484151020-----
      • a-homered for Valbuena in the 8th
      BATTING
      • 2B - E. Longoria (24)
      • HR - L. Morrison (26)
      • RBI - L. Morrison 2 (61), S. Souza (58)
      BATTING
      • 2B - A. Simmons (23)
      • HR - C. Cron (3)
      • SH - M. Maldonado (5)
      • RBI - A. Pujols (56), C. Cron 2 (16), M. Maldonado (27)
      • 2-Out RBI - A. Pujols (22)
      BASERUNNING
      • CS - B. Miller (2)
      • Picked Off - M. Smith
      FIELDING
      • DP - A. Hechavarria, E. Longoria, L. Morrison
      FIELDING
      • Outfield Assist - C. Maybin (5)
      • DP - C. Cron, A. Simmons, N. Franklin
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      C. Archer6.05225903.911.2713.5
      T. Hunter1.01000101.951.052.5
      J. Diaz (L, 1-4)0.11110005.701.57-7.0
      A. Kolarek0.21110015.401.20-2.0
      Total8.08445101---
      PITCHERSIP
      C. Archer6.0
      T. Hunter1.0
      J. Diaz (L, 1-4)0.1
      A. Kolarek0.2
      Total8.0
      PITCHERSIPHRERBBSOHRERAWHIPFPTS
      P. Bridwell6.16221813.181.3616.0
      B. Parker0.20000102.480.950.5
      D. Hernandez (W, 1-0)1.00000102.641.0810.5
      B. Norris (S, 14)1.03111102.351.105.5
      Total9.09332111---
      PITCHERSIP
      P. Bridwell6.1
      B. Parker0.2
      D. Hernandez (W, 1-0)1.0
      B. Norris (S, 14)1.0
      Total9.0
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - C. Archer 107-63, T. Hunter 8-6, J. Diaz 8-6, A. Kolarek 3-3
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - C. Archer 3-6, T. Hunter 1-0, A. Kolarek 2-0
      • Batters Faced - C. Archer 28, T. Hunter 3, J. Diaz 2, A. Kolarek 3
      PITCHING
      • Pitches-Strikes - P. Bridwell 96-63, B. Parker 6-3, D. Hernandez 15-12, B. Norris 14-9
      • Ground Balls-Fly Balls - P. Bridwell 6-3, D. Hernandez 1-1, B. Norris 1-0
      • Batters Faced - P. Bridwell 24, B. Parker, D. Hernandez 3, B. Norris 6
      • 9TH INNING
        Souza singled to center, Longoria scored, Bourjos to second34
      • 8TH INNING
        Cron homered to right, Simmons scored24
      • 7TH INNING
        Morrison homered to right, Longoria scored22
      • 6TH INNING
        Maldonado safe at first on fielding error, Simmons scored02
      • 5TH INNING
        Pujols singled to right, Franklin scored, Maybin to third01
      • 9TH INNING
        • Bud Norris relieved David Hernandez
        • C. Dickerson: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Dickerson struck out swinging
        • E. Longoria: Ball, Strike looking, Longoria doubled to deep right
        • L. Morrison: Morrison singled to right, Longoria to third
        • Peter Bourjos ran for Logan Morrison
        • S. Souza: Souza singled to center, Longoria scored, Bourjos to second
        • B. Miller: Ball, Foul, Ball, Ball, Ball, Miller walked, Bourjos to third, Souza to second
        • T. Beckham: Beckham grounded into double play shortstop to second to first, Miller out at second
        • Middle of the 9th (1 Run, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 8TH INNING
        • David Hernandez relieved Blake Parker
        • A. Hechavarria: Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Foul, Hechavarria flied out to left
        • J. Sucre: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Sucre struck out swinging
        • M. Smith: Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Smith grounded out to pitcher
        • Middle of the 8th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Jumbo Diaz relieved Tommy Hunter
        • Y. Escobar: Strike looking, Escobar lined out to center
        • A. Simmons: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Foul, Foul, Simmons singled to left
        • Adam Kolarek relieved Jumbo Diaz
        • C.J. Cron hit for Luis Valbuena
        • C. Cron: Cron homered to right, Simmons scored
        • M. Maldonado: Maldonado grounded out to shortstop
        • N. Franklin: Franklin grounded out to shortstop
        • End of the 8th (2 Runs, 3 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 7TH INNING
        • P. Bridwell Pitching:
        • E. Longoria: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Longoria singled to left
        • L. Morrison: Ball, Ball, Morrison homered to right, Longoria scored
        • S. Souza: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Souza struck out swinging
        • B. Miller: Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Foul, Ball, Miller walked
        • Blake Parker relieved Parker Bridwell
        • T. Beckham: Strike looking, Pickoff attempt, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Miller caught stealing, catcher to shortstop, Strike swinging, Beckham struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 7th (2 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • Tommy Hunter relieved Chris Archer
        • K. Calhoun: Calhoun singled to shallow left, Calhoun out at second
        • M. Trout: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Trout struck out swinging
        • A. Pujols: Strike looking, Pujols grounded out to second
        • End of the 7th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 6TH INNING
        • P. Bridwell Pitching:
        • J. Sucre: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Sucre grounded out to first
        • M. Smith: Ball, Smith grounded bunt out to pitcher
        • C. Dickerson: Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Foul, Strike swinging, Dickerson struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 6th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Archer Pitching:
        • A. Simmons: Simmons doubled to deep left
        • L. Valbuena: Ball, Valbuena flied out to deep right, Simmons to third
        • M. Maldonado: Maldonado safe at first on fielding error, Simmons scored
        • N. Franklin: Ball, Ball, Franklin flied out to center
        • C. Maybin: Ball, Ball, Ball, Foul, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Maybin struck out swinging
        • End of the 6th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 5TH INNING
        • P. Bridwell Pitching:
        • S. Souza: Ball, Souza lined out to center
        • B. Miller: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Miller struck out swinging
        • T. Beckham: Ball, Beckham singled to center
        • A. Hechavarria: Foul, Pickoff attempt, Foul, Strike swinging, Hechavarria struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 5th (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Archer Pitching:
        • N. Franklin: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Franklin walked
        • C. Maybin: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Maybin walked, Franklin to second
        • K. Calhoun: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Calhoun struck out swinging
        • M. Trout: Strike looking, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Trout struck out swinging
        • A. Pujols: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Pujols singled to right, Franklin scored, Maybin to third
        • Y. Escobar: Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Escobar struck out swinging
        • End of the 5th (1 Run, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
      • 4TH INNING
        • P. Bridwell Pitching:
        • C. Dickerson: Foul, Ball, Dickerson lined out to center
        • E. Longoria: Foul, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Longoria struck out swinging
        • L. Morrison: Morrison grounded out to first
        • Middle of the 4th (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
        • C. Archer Pitching:
        • Y. Escobar: Escobar singled to left
        • A. Simmons: Foul, Strike looking, Foul, Simmons singled to shallow left, Escobar to second
        • L. Valbuena: Ball, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Valbuena grounded into double play third to shortstop to first, Escobar to third, Simmons out at second
        • M. Maldonado: Ball, Foul, Foul, Strike swinging, Maldonado struck out swinging
        • End of the 4th (0 Runs, 2 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 3RD INNING
        • P. Bridwell Pitching:
        • A. Hechavarria: Hechavarria singled to center
        • J. Sucre: Strike looking, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Sucre struck out swinging
        • M. Smith: Strike swinging, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Smith reached on fielder's choice to shortstop, Hechavarria out at second
        • C. Archer Pitching:
        • K. Calhoun: Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Calhoun flied out to left
        • M. Trout: Strike looking, Ball, Trout flied out to right
        • A. Pujols: Pujols flied out to right
        • End of the 3rd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 2ND INNING
        • P. Bridwell Pitching:
        • S. Souza: Ball, Foul, Ball, Souza singled to deep left, Souza out at second
        • B. Miller: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Miller fouled out to left
        • T. Beckham: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Strike swinging, Beckham struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 2nd (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Archer Pitching:
        • L. Valbuena: Strike (foul tip), Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Valbuena walked
        • M. Maldonado: Strike looking, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Maldonado struck out swinging
        • N. Franklin: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Franklin flied out to deep left
        • C. Maybin: Ball, Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike looking, Maybin struck out looking
        • End of the 2nd (0 Runs, 0 Hits, 0 Errors)
      • 1ST INNING
        • P. Bridwell Pitching:
        • M. Smith: Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Smith grounded out to second
        • C. Dickerson: Strike looking, Foul, Ball, Ball, Dickerson grounded out to shortstop
        • E. Longoria: Foul, Foul, Ball, Foul, Ball, Longoria singled to center
        • L. Morrison: Strike swinging, Ball, Foul, Ball, Strike swinging, Morrison struck out swinging
        • Middle of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)
        • C. Archer Pitching:
        • C. Maybin: Strike looking, Ball, Maybin grounded out to shortstop
        • K. Calhoun: Ball, Ball, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Calhoun walked
        • M. Trout: Foul, Ball, Trout singled to left, Calhoun to second
        • A. Pujols: Ball, Ball, Strike looking, Foul, Strike swinging, Pujols struck out swinging
        • Y. Escobar: Strike looking, Strike swinging, Ball, Ball, Ball, Ball, Escobar walked, Calhoun to third, Trout to second
        • A. Simmons: Strike looking, Strike looking, Strike swinging, Simmons struck out swinging
        • End of the 1st (0 Runs, 1 Hit, 0 Errors)