ANAHEIM, Calif. — C.J. Cron isn’t missing many pitches anymore.
Cron hit two home runs to help the Los Angeles Angels beat the Cincinnati Reds 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Mike Trout went 3 for 4 with two doubles and he scored on Cron’s home run in the first inning and on Andrelton Simmons’ bloop single in the eighth.
Cron homered in the third inning to give the Angels a 3-0 lead. It was his fourth multi-home run game this season and brought his total to 14.
“He’s found his timing,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “He had figured some things out before he was hit in the hand and he’s carried the form. He’s swinging really well.”
Cron was hit in the hand by a fastball in Baltimore and underwent surgery on July 12. After missing 35 games, the Angels first baseman picked things up right where he left off.
“I try to remember what exactly I’m doing so I can just get it in my mind and try to stay with it if something like that happens,” Cron said. “I’m just swinging at good pitches and when I get the good ones I’m not missing them like I sometimes did earlier in the year. That’s a big plus.”
Jered Weaver (10-11) limited the Reds to two earned runs and eight hits, walked none and struck out five.
“I think he pitched with his fastball — much like he did in Toronto — with good command,” Scioscia said. “Weave can get that fastball going on both sides of the plate. He spins the ball so well and changes speeds so well and then everything opens up for him.”
Nearing his 34th birthday, Weaver’s fastball doesn’t have the velocity it used to. But Weaver was pleased with his command and the location of his off-speed pitches.
“I threw an 87 up there in the seventh,” Weaver said. “So watch out.”
Weaver pitched into the seventh inning for the first time since July 17, but ran into trouble after getting the first out. Eugenio Suarez hit a two-run homer to make it 3-2 and Jose Peraza hit a line drive single to right field. Mike Morin relieved and retired the next two batters to strand Peraza.
The Reds had runners in scoring position in the eighth and ninth innings but J.C. Ramirez got Scott Schebler to strike out on a checked swing in the eighth and Fernando Salas got Zack Cozart to pop out to first base for his sixth save.
“We got ourselves in a situation to have the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the ninth inning off their closer,” manager Bryan Price said. “Considering we were down 3-0, that wasn’t the worst thing in the world we could do. We got ourselves in a situation to steal one and we just couldn’t get it done.”
Cincinnati left nine runners on base.
Tim Adleman (2-2), who allowed both home runs to Cron, lost his first major league decision since May 6, giving up three earned runs in six innings with four strikeouts and a walk.
“I thought he did a terrific job,” Price said. “He went after (Cron) in that last at-bat. He wasn’t going to give in to him and give him anything he could hit. He made good pitches, got him to expand the zone and got that little chopper back to the mound that last time.”
Adleman was relieved by Anaheim native Michael Lorenzen, who went to nearby Fullerton Union High School and played college ball at Cal State Fullerton.
Lorenzen put two on in the eighth before Simmons dropped a single into shallow right field to score Trout from third. It was the only run Lorenzen allowed in two innings in his first appearance at his hometown ballpark.
Reds: Pereza was in the starting lineup one night after leaving the game with a facial contusion. Peraza was cleared of a concussion following Monday night’s game after an errant pickoff throw by Matt Shoemaker missed Cron’s glove at first base and struck Peraza in his face.
Angels: 3B Yunel Escobar worked out with the team Tuesday and barring any setbacks, is on track to be activated Friday in Seattle. Escobar was placed on the 7-day concussion list on Aug. 20.
Reds: LHP Brandon Finnegan will close out Cincinnati’s final interleague series of the season. Finnegan is 2-1 with a 2.67 ERA in the months of August and has won five of his last eight starts.
Angels: RHP Ricky Nolasco is still looking for his first win with the Angels since being traded from Minnesota on Aug. 1. Nolasco is 3-2 with a 5.49 ERA in 11 starts against Cincinnati.