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Cron conquering Pioneer League08/06/2011 1:26 AM ET
By Robert Emrich / Special to MLB.com
C.J. Cron had one more trick up his sleeve on Friday night.
The Angels' top pick in the 2011 Draft homered twice and drove in a career-high six runs as the Rookie-level Orem Owlz rolled to a 17-3 rout of the Ogden Raptors.
Selected 17th overall in June, Cron started small, singling in runs in each of the first two innings. After getting hit by a pitch in the fourth and popping out in the fifth, he slugged a solo homer in the seventh and launched a three-run blast in the eighth.
"I just felt well tonight," Cron said. "I hit some balls hard, put the barrel of the bat on the ball and drove in some runs for my team."
The 21-year-old Arizona native has had an unbelievable week for the Owlz, slugging six homers and driving in 17 runs in five games. Cron went deep three times on Tuesday, a feat he had never managed before. He did, however, have a nine-RBI game at the University of Utah.
"There were some stretches in college where I was seeing the ball well, but this is a completely different level of game," he said. "Doing it on this level is something special."
Overall, Cron is batting .319 with a Pioneer League-leading 13 homers and 41 RBIs. And he's been unable to play the field the entire season due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder.
"Obviously, every day I'm not able to throw I think about it," Cron said. "I've never been a steady designated hitter my whole life. It's tough being in the game the whole nine innings and staying in the groove."
It doesn't hurt playing for one of the league's premier offenses. The Owlz lead the eight-team circuit with a .309 batting average and 304 runs scored in 44 games.
"Everyone from top to bottom is hitting the ball well," Cron said. "Today was a prime example of everyone getting on base and letting me do my thing."
Taylor Lindsey, who established a league record by scoring six runs on June 21, fell a triple shy of the cycle and drove in three. Ryan Jones collected five RBIs and Jerod Yakubik was 3-for-5 with two runs scored.
Joc Pederson and Alexis Aguilar hit solo homers for the Raptors, who edged the Owlz on a tiebreaker for the Southern Division first-half title.