C.J. Cron’s pinch-hit two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth innings lifted the Los Angeles Angels to a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays Sunday in Anaheim, giving the Halos their first win after the All-Star break.
The team’s record improved to 46-49 but still in fourth place in the American League West.
“It’s been a little bit since I’ve had an at-bat, and I didn’t want to give him a pitch there,” Cron said. “I wanted to be aggressive, because that’s the kind of hitter I am. Fortunately it was a good pitch to hit, and I put a good swing on it.”
His hit snapped a 2-2 deadlock and the lead survived a late Tampa Bay rally. The Angels built a 2-0 lead on an RBI singles by Albert Pujols and a sacrifice bunt by Martin Maldonado. But the Rays put together two singles and a double to tie the score in the top of the seventh.
Both teams got strong pitching performances. Angel starter Parker Bridwell worked 6.2 innings, giving up six hits and two runs. He struck out eight batters and walked one. David Hernandez (1-0) picked up the win in relief. Bud Norris notched his 14th save.
The Angels have Monday off, and then start a two-game set with the Washington Nationals on Tuesday.