C.J. Cron hits two-run homer, Danny Espinosa doubles in two, Angels beat Seattle

The Angels improved to 10-5 in Cactus League play with a 9-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday at Tempe (Ariz.) Diablo Stadium.

AT THE PLATE: The Angels scored four runs on four hits in the second inning off Mariners left-hander Ariel Miranda. Albert Pujols led off with a double to left, C.J. Cron singled, Cameron Maybin walked and Danny Espinosa, who entered with a .105 average (two for 19) and nine strikeouts in eight games, lined a two-run double to left. David Fletcher capped the rally with an RBI single to center. Cron followed Pujols’ third-inning walk by lining a two-run homer to left. The first baseman is batting .419 (13 for 31) with three homers on the spring. Tony Sanchez and Fletcher hit back-to-back doubles to left for another run in the third. Manager Mike Scioscia was encouraged by the way Pujols legged out his double. “He’s running better now than he did after his foot started bothering him last year,” Scioscia said, “and that’s really a positive.”

ON THE MOUND: Veteran right-hander Jesse Chavez tightened his grip on the fifth rotation spot with four solid innings in which he gave up four hits, including a two-run homer to Tyler Smith in the second, struck out three and walked none. He threw 69 pitches. Hard-throwing right-hander Alex Meyer rebounded from a rocky outing with two scoreless innings in which he allowed one hit, struck out two and walked none. Meyer allowed three earned runs and two hits, walked four and struck out none in two-thirds of an inning against the Chicago Cubs on March 6. “His stuff was electric,” Scioscia said. “He was throwing BBs. That was 180 degrees from where he was last week.” Cam Bedrosian allowed a double and struck out two in a scoreless seventh, and Andrew Bailey allowed one hit, one walk and struck out one in a scoreless eighth.

EXTRA BASES: Chavez retired six in a row after Smith’s homer. Tuffy Gosewisch snapped the string with a double to left in the fourth, a hit that brought pitching coach Charles Nagy to the mound. The reason for Nagy’s visit? “Just to say hi,” Chavez said. … Mike Trout was hitless in three at-bats but made a nice backhand diving catch of Leonys Martin’s sinking line drive to open the game. “He’s an unbelievable athlete,” Chavez said of Trout. “He takes such good routes to balls, and those catches become routine. It’s going to be fun to watch him.” … Maybin walked twice but is still hitless in 18 spring-training at-bats.

UP NEXT: Vs. Dodgers on Monday at 1 p.m. at Tempe Diablo Stadium. TV: Fox Sports West. Radio: 570, 830, 1020.


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