66ers' Cron, Maronde extend streaks

Slugger hits in 17th straight, lefty throws 18 shutout innings

By Sam Dykstra / Special to MLB.com | July 22, 2012 10:47 PM ET

C.J. Cron didn't have to wait long -- two innings, in fact -- to extend his hitting and RBI streaks for Class A Advanced Inland Empire on Sunday night. Nick Maronde had to wait longer, but like his fellow Angels farmhand, the left-handed pitcher also continued a hot run of success.

Thanks to the combined efforts of two of the Angels' top five prospects, Inland Empire trumped San Jose, 12-0.

66ers' slugger Cron hit a three-run homer on a 0-1 slider by San Jose starter Taylor Rogers in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to 13 straight and his run of games with at least one RBI to seven.

"I feel really good lately," said Cron, who finished the night 1-for-5 and is batting .305 with five home runs and 18 RBIs during his hitting streak. "I feel like I'm seeing the ball pretty well, picking it up pretty easily and getting some good swings. Then we have a pretty good lineup, so guys are getting on ahead of me and giving me a good chance to drive them in."

Maronde scattered three hits and struck out half a dozen in six scoreless frames. The southpaw has not allowed a run in 18 innings over three starts, a stretch that includes seven hitless innings last Tuesday.

He wasn't as blunt as Bron about his recent successes, but added he's got a plan that he's been to sticking to over his past three starts.

"I try not to think about that stuff at all," Maronde said. "I just stay focused on what's before me and try to win each inning as it comes up before me."

But things weren't as rosy for both of them, even earlier this month. Cron, the Angels' first-round pick last year, was 5-for-24 (.208) with one RBI in his first five games to begin July prior to the hitting streak. Meanwhile, Maronde wasn't even with the Inland Empire ballclub until July 11, as the 22-year-old southpaw rehabbed a lat injury that had kept him out of the California League since late April.

In Cron's case, the only thing he said he could do was play through the struggles and hope they'd correct themselves.

"Just stay with it," said the Utah native. "You don't try to do anything too special, because eventually these things turn around and you know that. Maybe you try to quicken up the swing a little or just simplify it as much as you can. But other than that, don't try to do too much."

As for Maronde, there literally wasn't much he could do until his injury healed. He earned a 1.13 ERA in three rehab starts in the Arizona League, but even after that, he didn't expect the results to come as quickly as they have.

"It couldn't have gone any better," said the University of Florida product. "The guys have been playing great behind me. I'm just making my pitches, throwing strikes, and with their help, things have gone pretty well."

Now with their hot streaks locked in, both sides agreed that they won't be doing much of any tinkering until they cool again -- that is, if they do.

"There's nothing to change," Maronde said. "I have just have to go out there with the same mindset I've had for each start. I really don't have to do too much."

"I'm just going to let it ride," added Cron.

Sam Dykstra is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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