Cron only played in two of the six games on the most recent road trip, due mostly to a string of right-handed starting pitchers. Angels manager Mike Scioscia opted to go with the left-handed-hitting Raul Ibanez as the designated hitter against righties.
But the Angels released Ibanez on Saturday, opening the door for Cron to put his stamp on a starting role.
"You don't really want to go a long period without seeing live pitching, and I did, but I prepared as if I was playing," Cron said before Sunday's 5-2 Angels win in which his homer off Yu Darvish started a four-run Halos fourth. "I think that helped me a lot getting back into it, and obviously, the more at-bats, the more pitches you see, the better you get."
With the home run on Sunday, Cron became the first Angels rookie to homer in all three games of a series since Tim Salmon in 1993.
"Right now, he's going to get a chance to swing the bat," Scioscia said. "He's getting at-bats, and he's swinging the bat very well."
June had been a tough month for the rookie before returning home, hitting just .182/.206/.212 in 12 games since May 31. Prior to that, he was sporting a .319/.347/.580 slash line.
Before Friday's blast to right-center field, Cron had not homered since May 27, and this weekend marks the first time in his career Cron had RBIs in consecutive games.
"For a young player getting his first crack at the big leagues, he's holding up remarkably well, especially when a lot of his at-bats have come as a DH," Scioscia said. "Not an easy thing for a young player to do, and I think he's responded well."
Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.