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Halos ride big 1st, Cron's twin blasts past A's

MLB.com

ANAHEIM -- C.J. Cron homered twice and collected four RBIs to propel the Angels to an 8-2 win over the A's on a sweltering Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.

Cron's first home run of the night, a three-run shot off Chris Smith, capped a five-run first-inning outburst for the Angels. He later added a solo shot off Michael Brady in the eighth to extend the Halos' lead to 8-2. It marked Cron's first multi-homer game of the season and the eighth of his career.

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ANAHEIM -- C.J. Cron homered twice and collected four RBIs to propel the Angels to an 8-2 win over the A's on a sweltering Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.

Cron's first home run of the night, a three-run shot off Chris Smith, capped a five-run first-inning outburst for the Angels. He later added a solo shot off Michael Brady in the eighth to extend the Halos' lead to 8-2. It marked Cron's first multi-homer game of the season and the eighth of his career.

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"I think we all are trying to do our job to help the team win ballgames," Cron said. "My job is to drive in runs and put a charge into balls. Fortunately enough, I was able to do that tonight."

Video: OAK@LAA: Scioscia on Scribner's start, Cron's night

Cron's two home runs also secured him season tickets to the Phoenix Suns, his favorite NBA team. Before the game, Mike Trout promised to buy them for him if he went deep twice, and Cron delivered.

"I think I just won a couple thousand bucks there, and I'll be going to all the games," Cron said. "I'm pretty pumped about it. That's why the big smile, and everyone was cheering. I'm going to hold him to his word."

Martin Maldonado also homered, while Ben Revere drove in a pair of runs to help the Angels secure their second straight victory over the A's, which kept them one game behind the Twins for the second American League Wild Card spot.

Video: OAK@LAA: Maldonado crushes a solo home run to left

"The home run got me again," said Smith, who has allowed 13 homers in 47 1/3 innings. "Just making mistakes and they're hitting them. I settled in a little bit, got through some innings to try to keep us in there, but I think the nail in the coffin was Maldonado's. Just tough to come back from that."

The Angels' productive night helped make up for an abbreviated start from rookie Troy Scribner, who recorded only eight outs before the A's chased him in the third inning. Veteran right-hander Jesse Chavez picked up the slack by delivering four scoreless innings out of the bullpen.

Smith lasted only 3 2/3 innings for the A's, allowing seven runs (six earned) on five hits while walking two and striking out one. Matt Joyce and Matt Olson both launched solo home runs in the second to produce the lone runs for Oakland. Joyce now has 20 home runs this season, setting a new career high.

Video: OAK@LAA: Olson skies a solo home run to right field

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Angels strike early: It didn't take long for the Angels to get to Smith, who was rocked for five runs in the first inning. Cameron Maybin hit a leadoff double and scored on Revere's single to put the Angels on the board. Revere later came home on Andrelton Simmons' sacrifice fly, but Cron delivered the biggest blow by swatting a three-run homer to left field. Cron's 11th home run of the season had an exit velocity of 102 mph and traveled a projected 412 feet, according to Statcast™, giving the Angels a 5-0 lead.

Video: OAK@LAA: Angels plate five runs in the 1st inning

"He just got some balls up and made some mistakes, and when you don't throw 95, sometimes they get hit a little bit," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Smith. "But he hung in there for a while so we didn't have to use our bullpen too much, but gave up some homers and certainly early put us in a hole."

A's leave 'em loaded: After Joyce and Olson homered off Scribner to make it 5-2 in the second, the A's threatened to cut the deficit even further in the third. Bruce Maxwell drew a leadoff walk and then advanced to third on Jed Lowrie's two-out single. Khris Davis followed by hitting a grounder in the hole, just off the glove of Simmons, allowing him to reach on an infield single and loading the bases. With the left-handed-hitting Joyce up next, Angels manager Mike Scioscia decided to lift Scribner in favor of lefty Jose Alvarez. Alvarez subsequently induced a popup from Joyce, and Maldonado made a sliding catch in foul territory to record the final out of the inning.

Video: OAK@LAA: Maldonado makes sliding catch to escape jam

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Chavez has been dominant since moving to the bullpen at the beginning of August, allowing just one run over 15 innings while walking two and striking out 20.

"His slider and curveball are really sharp," Scioscia said. "I think he kind of caught his breath. He exhaled a little bit, and he's got a lot of confidence right now."

Video: OAK@LAA: Chavez gets Davis swinging in the 8th

WHAT'S NEXT
Athletics: The A's will send right-hander Kendall Graveman to the mound for Wednesday's 7:07 p.m. PT series finale at Angel Stadium. Graveman is 2-1 with a 2.25 ERA in his last three starts.

Angels: Rookie right-hander Parker Bridwell (7-2, 2.89 ERA) will take the mound for the Angels in Wednesday's series finale against the A's at 7:07 p.m. PT at Angel Stadium. Bridwell saw his streak of five consecutive winning decisions snapped on Friday despite allowing just two runs over seven innings against the Astros.

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Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.