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Angels' Cron cracks homer, Chavez solid in outing

MLB.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels came to life at the plate early against the Mariners on Sunday afternoon and got an impressive outing from starting pitcher Jesse Chavez in a 9-2 win over at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

C.J. Cron had two hits, including a two-run homer in the third inning, Danny Espinosa doubled home two runs in the second, and David Fletcher had a pair of RBI hits for the Angels. Chavez did his part in helping the lead stand up, going a spring-high four innings and giving up two runs on four hits while striking out three batters.

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels came to life at the plate early against the Mariners on Sunday afternoon and got an impressive outing from starting pitcher Jesse Chavez in a 9-2 win over at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

C.J. Cron had two hits, including a two-run homer in the third inning, Danny Espinosa doubled home two runs in the second, and David Fletcher had a pair of RBI hits for the Angels. Chavez did his part in helping the lead stand up, going a spring-high four innings and giving up two runs on four hits while striking out three batters.

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"We've got some guys that are trying to find their stroke," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Espinosa, it was good that he got on board, but we're still early. You have to always keep that perspective. These guys are going to get 60-65 at-bats, and they're not even a third of the way there. They'll be ready."

Seattle got a two-run homer from Tyler Smith in the top of the second inning, but otherwise was quiet at the plate. Mariners lefty Ariel Miranda, competing for a spot either in the rotation or long relief, gave up four runs on four hits with two walks in 1 2/3 innings in his first bad outing of the spring.

Video: SEA@LAA: Trout lays out for spectacular catch

"It didn't feel good today," Miranda said through interpreter Fernando Alcala. "Physically and mentally, I felt fine, but in terms of executing and making pitches, the fastball wasn't there for me."

The one positive on a rough day for Seattle pitching was three perfect innings of relief by 6-foot-8 right-hander Max Povse, who has yet to allow a hit in six frames this spring.

Video: SEA@LAA: Espinosa scores two with double to left

The Mariners struck first in the second inning, when infielder Smith followed a Mike Freeman single and stolen base with a two-run bolt to left field. The Angels answered in the bottom of the frame when Albert Pujols doubled to left, took third on a throwing error by Mariners left fielder Guillermo Heredia, and scored on a Miranda wild pitch. Cron singled, Cameron Maybin walked, and Espinosa gave the Angels a 3-2 lead with a two-RBI double into the left-field corner. Fletcher tacked on another run with a subsequent RBI single.

Video: SEA@LAA: Freeman robs Calhoun with diving catch

The Angels made it 7-2 in the bottom of the third inning when Pujols walked against Mariners reliever Casey Fien and Cron followed with a line-drive two-run homer to left field, the first baseman's third long ball of the spring. Fletcher doubled in a run three batters later. The Angels scored two more runs in the bottom of the seventh.

Fans of defense got their money's worth on the second pitch of the game when Angels center fielder Mike Trout ranged to his right and dove to rob Mariners leadoff hitter Leonys Martin of extra bases. Then in the bottom of the first with the Mariners in a shift, shortstop Freeman dove far to his right to snare a hot liner off the bat of Kole Calhoun.

Mariners Up Next: Veteran right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma makes his third Cactus League start Monday against the Brewers in Maryvale. Evan Scribner and Marc Rzepczynski are among the relievers slated to go in the 1:10 p.m. PT game, which will be available on GameDay Audio.

Angels Up Next: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco will take the ball for the Angels on Monday at 1:10 p.m. PT live on MLB.TV at Tempe Diablo Stadium, when they host the Los Angeles Dodgers. Righty Kenta Maeda (0-1, 6.75 ERA) starts for the Dodgers. Nolasco (1-0, 1.80) will be making his third Cactus League start. He's given up one run on four hits in five innings of work this spring, with four strikeouts and one walk.

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Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.