The Angels matched their season high in runs, with five, before recording the game's second out. They scored five times in an inning for the first time in more than 20 months. And they rode that early onslaught -- not to mention Hector Santiago's dominance -- to the 7-0 victory that snapped their three-game losing streak.
White Sox starter Carlos Rodon, one of the game's bright young pitchers, was charged with five runs on six hits and two walks and exited after recording only one out. He gave up a leadoff single to Yunel Escobar, then struck out Craig Gentry and put the next seven hitters on base.
Mike Trout and Albert Pujols drew back-to-back walks to load the bases, then Kole Calhoun, Andrelton Simmons, Geovany Soto, C.J. Cron and Johnny Giavotella strung together consecutive singles. The six hits were two more than the Angels accrued throughout 12 innings in Minnesota on Sunday, a game that saw them go hitless for the final eight frames.
With one inning, Rodon's ERA jumped from 1.38 to 4.73.
With one inning, the Angels' team batting average jumped 10 points, from .223 to .233.
"We know we have a good offense," Cron said. "Just to get a lead like that early was good for us."
Cron entered the game just 4-for-40 and was dropped three spots, all the way down to No. 8. But he singled to right field in the first, knocked in a run with a single to left field in the third, lined out to center in the sixth and notched another RBI single with a base hit to right in the eighth.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia noted before the game that Cron's timing is off, and afterward, Scioscia said, "I don't think he's as in sync as he will be, but he's working towards that."
"When C.J. finds his balance," Scioscia said, "you'll see a different swing."
Cron said he felt better that his numbers might have indicated, particularly because he had more than doubled his career walk rate through the first two weeks.
"I think that was the main difference from my [slow] start last year," Cron said, "because I was kind of swinging at everything [in 2015]."
He did acknowledge, however, that his timing has been a bit off. It's evident in how he's reacting to fastballs. Heading in, Cron had only gotten hits on three of the 32 fastballs he had swung at within the strike zone.
"I don't feel as bad as the results show, that's for sure," Cron said. "I feel like I've hit the ball hard. My three this today were probably the weakest. The lineout to center was probably the hardest ball I hit all day and that wasn't a [positive] result. I thought I took some good swings in Minnesota. I've been getting on base, so I can't really complain. But it's nice to see a few get in there."