Cron goes deep twice as Angels edge Reds

Cron goes deep twice as Angels edge Reds

ANAHEIM -- C.J. Cron did the damage and the Angels pitching did the damage control. Cron hit two home runs while Jered Weaver and the bullpen held off the Reds for a 4-2 victory on Tuesday. It was the Angels' fourth straight win while Cincinnati has dropped seven of its last nine games.

All of the Angels early offense came from Cron, who slugged a two-out, two-run homer in the first inning and another two-out solo homer in the third for a 3-0 inning against Reds starter Tim Adleman.

Weaver gave up two runs and eight hits over 6 1/3 innings with no walks and five strikeouts. Weaver took a shutout into the top of the seventh inning before he ran out of steam. Eugenio Suarez's two-run homer made it a one-run game and Jose Peraza's third hit of his four-hit game was enough to bring a pitching change. More >>

Adleman survived his rocky beginning to turn in a quality start of six innings with three earned runs, seven hits, one walk and four strikeouts. Following short starts from the rotation in the previous two games, the Reds needed a longer start.

"I try to get deep in the game and give them a chance," Adleman said. "I did that tonight but unfortunately, three runs were too many."

Michael Lorenzen followed with a perfect seventh but gave up two hits in the eighth, including Andrelton Simmons' RBI single to short right field over a drawn-in infield that scored Mike Trout with a key insurance run.

Simmons' RBI single

Power surge continues: After the Angels hit five home runs in Monday's opener, Cron added two more on Tuesday and now has seven career multi-homer games -- four of them coming this season. His first long ball was on a 2-1 pitch from Adleman and went to straightaway center field an estimated 431 feet. In the third, Cron lifted a 2-2 pitch to right-center field for another no-doubt long ball. He has 25 RBIs in his past 18 games, but they are spread out because a broken hand cost him six weeks in July and August.

"He just had his timing kind of pick up where he left off, before his injury," manager Mike Scioscia said. "It's good to see him in rhythm. He's an important part of our lineup that was missing for a while." More >>

Cron's second homer

Suarez with No. 20: Following a Scott Schebler one-out double, Suarez hit an 0-1 Weaver pitch to left field for a two-run homer, his 20th of the season. It snapped a Reds scoreless streak of 14 innings going back to the first inning of Monday's game. Suarez also became the 10th Reds third baseman in modern history to collect 20 or more home runs in a season.

Weaver hits 87 mph in the seventh: For the second straight start, the veteran Angels right-hander had command of his fastball, and a little more oomph as well.

"The biggest reason is the command of his fastball," Scioscia said. "He was putting it in good spots."

Weaver fans Hamilton

Near comeback: The Reds faced three Angels relievers in the eighth and had a chance to take the lead. With two outs, right-hander JC Ramirez allowed singles to Adam Duvall and Brandon Phillips to put the go-ahead run on first base. But Ramirez was able to strike out Schebler and keep his team ahead. In the ninth against Fernando Salas, Peraza's fourth hit -- a double -- and a two-out walk by Billy Hamilton after a 10-pitch plate appearance put the tying run on first base again. Zack Cozart popped out foul behind first base to end it.

"Considering we were down 3-0, that wasn't the worst thing in the world that we could do," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "We got ourselves in a position to steal one and we weren't able to get it done."

Salas notches the save

"It was one of those games that after we've had 3 2/3 total innings over the previous two starts. It was going to be the priority -- we needed to get innings out of that start. Tim did a great job after a two-run first inning and a solo shot to add on to get 3-0 and really give us a chance to get back into where we were a two-run homer from being right back in the middle of that game. They did a great job of scratching out that final run that made a big difference in how we played the ninth." -- Price on getting length from Adleman

In the three games since Anthony DeSclafani's shutout at Arizona on Saturday, Reds opponents have batted .590 (13-for-22) with nine runs scored in the first inning.

In the top of the ninth with two outs, Hamilton hit a ball down left-field that was called foul, in a very close play. The Reds challenged the ruling from umpire Jeff Nelson, believing the ball might have touched the line -- which would have given Hamilton an RBI hit. After quick review, the call was confirmed.

Hamilton's liner ruled foul

Reds: For Wednesday's 7:05 p.m. ET series finale, the Reds will start Brandon Finnegan, who has been pitching the best he has all season. Finnegan struck out a career-high 12 batters over six innings vs. the D-backs on Friday and has been tough to hit in his last two starts. Opponents are 4-for-43 (.093) over those 13 innings of work.

Angels: Right-hander Ricky Nolasco makes his sixth start for the Angels since being acquired from the Twins, as the teams close out their first series at Angel Stadium since 2002 on Wednesday. Nolasco is 0-4 with a 5.70 ERA for the Angels, 4-12, 5.24 overall this season. The longtime National Leaguer has enjoyed modest success vs. Cincinnati, going 3-2, 5.49 in 11 career starts. Game time is 4:05 p.m. PT.

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Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05.

Earl Bloom is a contribtor for based in Los Angeles.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.