Cron, Marte provide spark Angels seek

Pair combine to go 4-for-8 with 5 RBIs in 10-2 win

Cron, Marte provide spark Angels seek

ANAHEIM -- For one night, at least, the experiment worked.

The Angels were willing to sacrifice a significant amount of defense in left field because they believed their short-handed lineup would benefit from stacking two right-handed power hitters, C.J. Cron and Jefry Marte, behind Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.

Cron and Marte then combined to go 4-for-8 in a 10-2 rout over the Twins in Wednesday night's series finale, driving in five runs and scoring three times.

Cron, 6-for-25 to start the month, ripped a couple of singles and lofted a double into deep left-center field. It marked his first three-hit game since May 7, raising his slash line to a still-unspectacular .258/.313/.400.

"I'll take it," Cron said. "For sure."

Marte went 1-for-3 with a walk, keeping his batting average at .333 while starting his second game in left field -- a position he only recently began playing at in hopes of keeping his bat in the lineup.

"It's a great opportunity," Marte, who spent the season's first five weeks in Triple-A, said in Spanish. "I thank God for giving me that opportunity, for putting me on a team that wants to give me a chance to do what I love to do, which is to play baseball. I'll just try to take advantage of that opportunity; give the best I have and leave it in God's hands."

Marte's RBI single

Switch-hitting left fielder Daniel Nava collected three hits for Triple-A Salt Lake on Wednesday night, in his fourth Minor League rehab game since landing on the disabled list for a second time. He could be activated as early as Friday, giving Angels manager Mike Scioscia an additional left-handed bat to match up against tough right-handed starters.

Nava, Cron and Marte will all probably alternate playing time.

All three of them can start at first base or at designated hitter, and two of them -- Nava and Marte -- are options in left field.

"Who's playing on this night or who's playing on that night is not going to be what's important," Scioscia said. "But over the course of a week's stretch, or a two-week stretch, to be able to match up, we're going to welcome the left-handed bat that Daniel can bring. I think it's going to help us to match up, keep some guys fresh."

Alden Gonzalez has covered the Angels for since 2012. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.