ANAHEIM (AP) — C.J. Cron homered and scored two runs against his former teammates, and Chris Archer pitched two-hit ball into the seventh inning of the Tampa Bay Rays’ 7-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday night.
Denard Span hit a two-run homer during the Rays’ four-run seventh inning, and Johnny Field added a two-run shot in the eighth as the Rays pushed their longest winning streak of the season to four games.
Mike Trout extended the longest hitting drought of his career to 0 for 19 with four hitless at-bats for the Angels, who have lost five of eight on their 11-game homestand.
Shohei Ohtani hit his sixth homer in the ninth inning, ending a personal 0-for-8 slump and 21 consecutive scoreless innings for the Angels.
Archer (3-3) repeatedly struggled with his control while walking four and hitting Justin Upton with a pitch, yet he limited Los Angeles’ potent lineup to two singles while earning his first victory since April 26.
Tyler Skaggs (3-3) took the hard-luck loss despite limiting Tampa Bay to six hits and one run over six innings while striking out seven and keeping the game scoreless until Cron’s solo shot.
Cron continued his impressive start to his first season in Tampa Bay, leading off the sixth by homering in his third consecutive game. He has reached base in a career-best 23 straight games.
The slugger was the Angels’ first-round draft pick in 2011, and he spent the past four seasons in Los Angeles’ lineup. Cron was traded last February after Ohtani’s arrival eliminated much of his job as a designated hitter and first baseman.
Trout struck out twice while surpassing an 0-for-17 stretch in August 2017 for the longest drought of the two-time AL MVP’s career. Although he has seven walks during his slump, Trout’s struggles are part of an overall offensive lull for the Angels, who have scored just six runs in the last four games.
Ohtani also was in a dry patch until he erased Tampa Bay’s shutout bid with a long homer to center off Austin Pruitt. The two-way rookie has a hit in 17 of his 20 starts as a designated hitter.
Upton left the game in the sixth inning after Archer’s pitch hit him on the left hand, but initial X-rays showed no broken bones. Upton has been the Angels’ best hitter in May with seven homers and a majors-best 21 RBIs.
Span connected against reliever Jim Johnson in the seventh for his first homer since April 29. Cron then beat out an infield single, stole his first base of the season when the throw got away, and scored on Daniel Robertson’s single.
BIG TIME DEBUT
Christian Arroyo had two singles in his debut for Tampa Bay. The touted 22-year-old prospect and Tampa native was the key return in the trade that sent Evan Longoria to San Francisco last winter.
Andrelton Simmons reached base in his 24th consecutive game since April 19, extending the longest streak of his career. The Gold Glove shortstop’s fourth-inning single also gave him a hit in 18 of his last 20 games for the Angels.
Rays: Adeiny Hechavarria left the game after grabbing his right hamstring while running to first base with the Rays’ first hit in the second inning. Joey Wendle replaced him. Hechavarria will be re-evaluated Friday.
Angels: Reliever Keynan Middleton will have Tommy John surgery, dealing another big blow to a perennially injury-plagued pitching staff. Middleton earned six saves and established himself as LA’s closer in May, but left his last appearance after just 12 pitches last weekend.
Rays: Blake Snell (4-3, 3.12 ERA) struggled in Baltimore last Sunday, allowing three homers. He lost his only previous start against the Angels in 2016.
Angels: Nick Tropeano (1-2, 3.64 ERA) has been largely solid in his first five starts this season. He hasn’t faced the Rays since July 4, 2016.
(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)