Rays score late to defeat Angels
ANAHEIM, Calif. — C.J. Cron and Tyler Skaggs became fast friends while spending years together with the Los Angeles Angels. They chirped at each other through texts before Cron arrived at Angel Stadium for his first visit since joining the Tampa Bay Rays.
Cron got the last word in the sweetest way possible when he rounded the bases after clubbing an important homer off Skaggs himself.
Cron homered and scored two runs against his former teammates, and Chris Archer pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning of the Rays’ 7-1 victory on Thursday
Skaggs (3-3) took the hard-luck loss despite limiting Tampa Bay to six hits and one run over six innings while striking out seven — including Cron in his first two at-bats. Skaggs kept the game scoreless until that solo shot into the bullpens by his old buddy.
“It’s frustrating, especially to a guy that’s one of my really good friends,” Skaggs said with a grimace. “We had a few smiles in that first at-bat. But I’ve seen that for four or five years. He just needed consistent at-bats. He’s off to a really good start, so I’m happy for him. It’s just frustrating for me.”
Cron extended his impressive start for Tampa Bay by homering in his third consecutive game. While getting the regular playing time he so often lacked with the Angels, Cron has reached base in a career-best 23 straight games.
The slugger was the Angels’ first-round draft pick in 2011, and he spent the past four seasons in Los Angeles’ lineup. Cron was traded last February after Shohei Ohtani’s arrival eliminated much of his job as a designated hitter and first baseman.
“I’d be lying if I didn’t say it was a little bit different,” said Cron, who also singled and stole his first base of the season in the seventh inning. “It’s cool to come back to where it all started. It’s good to see all of the guys again. Those are some of my best friends over there.”
Denard Span hit a two-run homer during the Rays’ fourrun seventh inning, and Johnny
Field added a two-run shot in the eighth as the Rays pushed their longest winning streak of the season to four games.
Archer (3-3) repeatedly struggled with his control
while walking four and hitting Justin Upton with a pitch, yet he limited Los Angeles’ potent lineup to two singles while earning his first victory since April 26.
The Rays’ Denard Span hits a two-run home run during Tampa Bay’s 7-1 victory against the Angels Thursday.