The Cron Show: Angels gain on C.J.'s big day

The Cron Show: Angels gain on C.J.'s big day

ANAHEIM -- Young slugger C.J. Cron put the Angels on his back on Friday night, finishing a homer shy of the cycle and driving in five runs while leading his team to a 5-2 victory over the division-rival Rangers in Southern California.

The Angels, coming off a 19-loss August, have started September with three straight wins and are now 2 1/2 back of the Rangers for the second Wild Card spot in the American League. Texas fell to three games back of the Astros in the AL West and maintained a 1 1/2-game lead on the Twins for the final playoff spot.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Lyle Spencer

Lengthy homestand gives Angels big opportunity

Lengthy homestand gives Angels big opportunity

ANAHEIM -- The Rangers are in town this weekend, and the Dodgers and Astros are on their way next week. A time of reckoning has arrived for the Angels, who will give us a good idea in these three series whether they're in the postseason hunt or consigned to wait-until-next-year mode.

With C.J. Cron driving in all five runs and Garrett Richards steering his way through rough waters with an edge of mental toughness, the Angels turned away the Rangers, 5-2, on Friday night to cut a game off Texas' lead for the second American League Wild Card spot.

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Lyle Spencer is a national reporter and columnist for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @LyleMSpencer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cron's hot streak shows power of confidence

Angels DH delivers 3 hits, 5 RBIs in big win over Rangers

Cron's hot streak shows power of confidence

ANAHEIM -- Angels catching prospect Jett Bandy still vividly remembers the night of May 27, while standing in the on-deck circle for a Triple-A game in Salt Lake City, Utah. C.J. Cron had just been sent down to the Minor Leagues, his .204 batting average no longer suitable for everyday at-bats as the Angels' designated hitter, and now he was in the box against Minor League pitching.

"First pitch he saw, line-drive home run," Bandy said. "As soon as he put that swing on it I was like, 'Yeah, he wants to get out of here.'"

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Source: Eppler a candidate for Angels GM

Yankees assistant GM was runner-up for position in '11

Source: Eppler a candidate for Angels GM

ANAHEIM -- Billy Eppler, the right-hand man for Yankees GM Brian Cashman, made a lasting impression with the Angels during their 2011 search for a general manager, so much so that they tried to bring him on as an assistant to the man who ultimately got the job, Jerry Dipoto.

He's going to factor in heavily once again.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Giavotella has condition causing double vision

'There's no toughening it out,' Angels second baseman says

Giavotella has condition causing double vision

ANAHEIM -- Angels second baseman Johnny Giavotella, out of action since Aug. 20, revealed Friday that he has been diagnosed with fourth nerve palsy, a condition that causes him to see double every time he turns his eyes downward or to the left. Doctors have told him it's "nothing life-threatening and nothing permanent," and Giavotella said his symptoms were "gradually getting better."

"I plan on coming back this season," Giavotella said, but he couldn't provide a definitive timetable.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Weaver, Holland duel in key clash with Rangers

Weaver, Holland duel in key clash with Rangers

Veteran pitchers square off Saturday at Angel Stadium when Angels right-hander Jered Weaver and Rangers lefty Derek Holland pitch the second game of a series between two American League West rivals in the playoff hunt.

Holland, coming off a three-hit, 11-strikeout shutout of the Orioles. has faced the Angels more than any other team, but hasn't pitched against them since 2013 after missing large chunks of the past two seasons due to injury.

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David Adler is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels eye 3M fans for 13th straight year

ANAHEIM -- Vice president of communications Tim Mead said the Angels "fully anticipate" reaching 3 million fans for a 13th straight season in 2015, even though they entered Friday on pace to finish just below that mark.

The Angels began a critical nine-game homestand against the Rangers, Dodgers and Astros -- three teams that entered Friday a combined 37 games above .500 -- having drawn 2,435,922 fans and averaging 36,907 per game, their lowest figure since winning the World Series in 2002.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels to step up GM search

Team hopes to have position filled by end of season

Angels to step up GM search

ANAHEIM -- The Angels face a potential season-defining homestand over these next 10 days, with nine games against the Rangers, Dodgers and Astros, three teams that would be in the playoffs if they started today. In the meantime, owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino are expected to accelerate a franchise-altering search for a new general manager, a reality thrust upon them when Jerry Dipoto resigned on the first of July.

The search is still believed to be in its embryonic stages, but the Angels are nonetheless hopeful of a resolution before season's end. Moreno and Carpino conducted an extensive search just four years ago -- a search that led to Dipoto -- and already have a good feel for most of the candidates.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Pujols hits 555th HR in chase for stellar year

Veteran ties Manny for 14th on all-time list, takes things one year at a time

Pujols hits 555th HR in chase for stellar year

OAKLAND -- Albert Pujols' second-inning homer against the electric Sonny Gray, a key blow in a 9-4 win over the A's, gave him 555 career home runs, tying him with countryman Manny Ramirez for 14th on the all-time list. It gave him 35 this year, joining only three others -- Alex Rodriguez, Mike Schmidt and Willie Mays -- to reach 35-plus homers 10 times within their first 15 seasons. And it put him on pace for 42, a number he hasn't reached since 2010.

In some ways, though, Pujols is still chasing that season. He's still trying to be the player he was back then, and part of him can't accept being anything less.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels jump on A's early for series win

Angels jump on A's early for series win

OAKLAND -- A's ace Sonny Gray allowed four runs in the first inning, and Albert Pujols dealt the final blow against the right-hander with a two-run home run in the second, helping the Angels secure a series-clinching 9-4 victory at the Coliseum on Wednesday afternoon.

Gray, who entered with an American League-leading 2.13 ERA, was done after five innings with a season-high six earned runs to his name, which ties a career high. Angels left-hander Andrew Heaney, meanwhile, rebounded from a three-run first inning to make it through seven, with just two hits allowed in his final six frames. He walked none and struck out six.

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Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Heaney darkhorse for Rookie of the Year

Lefty allows three runs in seven innings against A's ace Gray

Heaney darkhorse for Rookie of the Year

OAKLAND -- Five days ago, Angels starter Andrew Heaney was asked if he had given much thought to the American League Rookie of the Year Award, to which he replied, "For what?"

Then he faced off against the electric Sonny Gray on Wednesday afternoon, limited the A's to only three runs through seven innings in a 9-4 win and improved to 6-2 with a 3.18 ERA in a year that didn't even begin until late June.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Joyce hoping to salvage season

Outfielder makes adjustments, looks to contribute after collision with Aybar

Joyce hoping to salvage season

OAKLAND -- When Matt Joyce collided with Angels shortstop Erick Aybar on July 26, he was riding an 0-for-23 slump that sunk his batting average to .178. He suffered a concussion and hurt his back, and two days later, the Angels acquired David Murphy and David DeJesus, two left-handed-hitting outfielders brought in for the role Joyce was supposed to handle.

He figured he'd be gone.
 

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Calhoun, Shoemaker put Halos back on track

Calhoun, Shoemaker put Halos back on track

OAKLAND -- Matt Shoemaker limited the A's to one run across seven innings and Kole Calhoun went 3-for-5 with a home run on Tuesday night, helping the Angels beat the A's, 6-2, at the Coliseum to get the month of September off on a positive note.

It was only the second time that the Angels -- coming off a 19-loss August -- had won a game by more than two runs since July 26.

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Alden Gonzalez and Jane Lee are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels buy into idea of fresh start

Angels buy into idea of fresh start

OAKLAND -- The Angels are well aware of how silly it sounds, this notion that the start of a new month can trigger success and rid them of the stench they carried throughout a woeful August. Games come almost every day and slumps are never compartmentalized so conveniently.

Sometimes, though, you just have to believe it, no matter how ridiculous the thought.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

6 players who will decide the AL Wild Card race

6 players who will decide the AL Wild Card race

With just one month left in the regular season, some division races appear all but wrapped up, and even the National League Wild Card spots look likely to go to the Pirates and Cubs -- barring a Cardinals collapse and a torrid streak from the Giants in an odd-numbered year. But there is at least one race that will go to the wire: The American League Wild Card.

While the top AL Wild Card spot will likely go to the team that finishes second in the AL East, the second Wild Card has five teams in the mix who are all within four games of each other. And with many of those clubs set to play against each other during the season's last month, it could come down to what amounts to a round-robin tournament, where only the strong will survive -- and earn a spot in the playoffs.

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Michael Clair is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow @clairbearattack on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels hope new faces provide September spark

Angels hope new faces provide September spark

OAKLAND -- When David Freese fractured his right index finger on July 22, his Angels were at the height of their ascension, at that point 54-40 and two games up on the Astros for first place in the American League West.

What followed was almost inexplicable.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Scioscia doesn't expect a say in GM hunt

Scioscia doesn't expect a say in GM hunt

OAKLAND -- Contrary to popular belief, Angels manager Mike Scioscia does not expect to have much of a say on who the club's next general manager will be.

"I don't plan on being part of any selection committee," Scioscia said prior to Tuesday's game against the A's from the Coliseum. "I know the role of a manager in an organization, and I love that part of it. It's not to go pick a GM. I just think, just like any team, you have to be philosophically on the same page, all the way down from ownership to the general manager's seat to the manager to the Minor Leagues and scouting director, everything that's important in fueling your Major League roster. You have to be on the same page."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Alyson Footer

Pujols, Kershaw team up for Wiffle ball game

Contributions to charities will give bidders chance to play with Los Angeles stars

Pujols, Kershaw team up for Wiffle ball game

Their teams are crosstown rivals on the field, but away from the ballpark, Albert Pujols and Clayton Kershaw have more in common beyond their obvious baseball ability.

They are two of the most charitable players in the Major Leagues, and soon, they'll band together to raise funds for their respective foundations through a fan-friendly, interactive event.

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Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Mahle highlights Halos' AFL contingent

Mahle highlights Halos' AFL contingent

OAKLAND -- The Angels will be sending eight of their prospects to the Arizona Fall League this year, a list that includes pitchers Alan Busenitz, Harrison Cooney, Ryan Etsell and Greg Mahle, catcher Stephen McGee, first baseman Eric Aguilera, and outfielders Caleb Adams and Chad Hinshaw.

The group will join the Mesa Solar Sox in the annual league featuring some of the game's brightest young players, joining prospects from the A's, Cubs, Marlins and Rays. Inland Empire 66ers hitting coach Brenton Del Chiaro will be part of the coaching staff.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Cron's swipe can help fans steal a home

Quicken Loans sweepstakes offers chance to win mortgage payment valued at up to $1,500

Cron's swipe can help fans steal a home

When C.J. Cron cruised into home on Monday night in Oakland, the Angels designated hitter not only extended his club's lead, but also lightened one lucky fan's monthly bill payments.

Quicken Loans Steal A Home
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Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Santiago's second half remains a mystery

Santiago's second half remains a mystery

OAKLAND -- Hector Santiago, like most of his Angels teammates, found it far more advantageous to immediately look ahead late Monday night.

"August was a rough month," the Angels' congenial starting pitcher concluded after an 11-5 loss to the A's at the Coliseum. "September, here we go."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels begin GM search

OAKLAND -- The Angels have begun their search for a general manager, a source told MLB.com on Monday night, though it's hard to narrow down their list of candidates at this point.

The Angels have some internal candidates in assistant GMs Matt Klentak and Scott Servais, and potentially director of pro scouting Hal Morris, but owner Arte Moreno and president John Carpino will be interviewing outside candidates as well.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

A's-Angels tilt pauses for 'broken fence delay'

A's-Angels tilt pauses for 'broken fence delay'

OAKLAND -- Evan Scribner and his bullpen mates set an over/under. Danny Valencia considered it another shenanigan in his short stint with the A's. Manager Bob Melvin joked that the grounds crew used double-sided tape to fix it.

They were all referring to the left-field wall at the Coliseum, a sizable chunk of which fell down and caused a 10-minute delay in the fifth inning of the A's 11-5 win over the Angels on Monday night.

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Trevor Hass is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels' road struggles continue in opener vs. A's

Angels' road struggles continue in opener vs. A's

OAKLAND -- Danny Valencia and Jake Smolinski contributed to a five-run third inning and Mark Canha provided the dagger in the sixth, launching a three-run homer to help the A's beat the American League West-rival Angels, 11-5, at the Coliseum on Monday night.

The free-falling Angels (65-66) have dropped 26 of their last 37 games and are below .500 for the first time since June 10. They finished August with 19 losses, their highest total that month since 1999, but remained 3 1/2 games back of the Rangers for the second AL Wild Card spot.

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Alden Gonzalez and Jane Lee are reporters for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Freese joining first wave of September callups

Angels' top prospect Newcomb isn't expected to be included as rosters expand

Freese joining first wave of September callups

OAKLAND -- David Freese is ready to go, but he wasn't in the Angels' lineup for Monday's series opener against the A's. The veteran third baseman is expected to be activated off the disabled list on Tuesday, the first day rosters expand -- and he'll have plenty of company.

Outfielders Matt Joyce and Collin Cowgill and infielder Taylor Featherston, who have been playing rehab games at Triple-A Salt Lake, are also expected to rejoin the team Tuesday, providing Angels manager Mike Scioscia with additional options for an offense that will finish last in the Majors in every important statistical category for August.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Trout notches encouraging 4-for-4 day

Slugger finishes homer shy of cycle with an RBI

Trout notches encouraging 4-for-4 day

CLEVELAND -- Asked if he tried to go deep in Sunday's eighth inning, while needing only a home run for his second career cycle, Mike Trout smiled wide and snickered, offering some rare levity in an otherwise solemn Angels clubhouse.

"When I do that, I get my foot down late and I get jammed," Trout said after a 9-2, sweep-clinching loss to the Indians. "That's what happened."

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Green, Trout provide only offense for Angels

Green, Trout provide only offense for Angels

CLEVELAND -- Abraham Almonte launched a grand slam, Carlos Santana drove in three runs with a little help from the sun and Josh Tomlin spun seven-plus strong innings to lead the Indians to a 9-2 rout over the Angels on Sunday at Progressive Field.

The win was the eighth in the past 10 games for Cleveland (63-66), which still has a pulse in the American League Wild Card race. The Indians are five games back of the second Wild Card spot with four teams, including the Angels (65-65), ahead of them. Los Angeles, which is 6 1/2 games out of first in the AL West and 3 1/2 back of a Wild Card spot, has lost eight of 10 and 25 of its last 36.

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Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast. Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Angels slip to .500, but look to battle back

Despite struggles, club knows 'things can still happen,' Weaver says

Angels slip to .500, but look to battle back

CLEVELAND -- August is almost over, and the Angels are a .500 team. It had been 65 days since they had the same amount of wins as losses, but then they were unable to score in a first inning that began with a single and a triple, and they lost two fly balls in the sun and gave up their second grand slam in as many days in a Sunday afternoon game from Progressive Field.

And now, after their 25th loss in their past 36 games, the Angels are 65-65.

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Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.