Former Ute C.J. Cron has first MLB multi-HR game; Trout hits massive homer

By Dave Skretta

Associated Press

Published: Friday, June 27 2014 11:50 p.m. MDT

Los Angeles Angels' C.J. Cron is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a home run in the second inning of a baseball game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., Friday, June 27, 2014. (AP Photo/Colin E. Braley)

Colin E. Braley, AP

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mike Trout might be the only power hitter who loves cavernous Kauffman Stadium.

The Angels slugger belted a mammoth home run Friday night off Kansas City starter Jason Vargas that cleared the center-field wall 410 feet from home plate, soared over four rows of seats and a walkway, and finally landed with a splash in one of the picturesque fountains.

The Royals estimated the drive traveled 445 feet, while others pegged it at closer to 490. Either way, Trout has now hit his two longest home runs in Kansas City.

"It felt good," he said, "but it stinks we lost."

Oh, right. Los Angeles wound up falling 8-6 to end its six-game winning streak.

Still, Trout's shot left just about everybody in awe.

"I've been here five years and that's the most impressive home run I've seen here," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "That was dead center in the fountains. That was absolutely crushed."

Said Angels skipper Mike Scioscia: "That was about as far as you're going to see a ball hit."

It only counted for one run, though. C.J. Cron added two homers for the Angels, but they still needed more offense than that with the ball carrying so well all night.

Omar Infante hit a grand slam to cap a seven-run inning for the Royals, and their bullpen twirled five shutout innings to preserve the victory. Michael Mariot (1-0) picked up the win with 1 1-3 innings of relief, and Greg Holland earned his 23rd save with a perfect ninth.

Vargas and Angels counterpart Matt Shoemaker (5-2) combined to give up 14 runs on 20 hits — four of them home runs — and neither got an out in the fifth inning.

"It was definitely not fun," Shoemaker said. "It's going to make me tougher, not that I wasn't, but you learn from it. The third inning was a long inning. There were a lot of runs."

Trout's homer in the first and Cron's solo shot in the second staked Los Angeles to an early lead, but Kansas City erased it in the third by matching its biggest inning of the season.

The outburst against Shoemaker began with a double by Alcides Escobar, who added a single later in the inning. Jarrod Dyson, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer hit singles, Billy Butler walked, Alex Gordon hit a sacrifice fly and Salvador Perez added another base hit.

By that point, the Royals had pulled ahead 3-2 and the bases were loaded for Infante, who hit a high fly to left field that carried just over the wall and landed in the bullpen.

His first career grand slam came in his 1,268th game.

"The ball was really carrying tonight," Yost said. "I knew he hit it good."

Butler added an RBI single in the fourth to make it 8-2. Shoemaker finished the inning but did not emerge for the fifth after allowing eight runs on 11 hits and a walk.

The rookie was 5-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his previous seven starts.

"When he had some chances to put guys away, he missed spots badly," Scioscia said. "It just didn't seem like Matt was able to make the pitch to get out of some spots."

Vargas nearly squandered the big cushion when Cron hit a two-run shot in the fifth for his first career multihomer game. David Freese, Chris Iannetta and Collin Cowgill joined Trout in stringing together enough hits to eventually put up four runs.

Howie Kendrick nearly tied the game with a shot to the wall in right, but Cain caught it on a gallop at the warning track to end the inning and preserve the Royals' 8-6 lead.

Despite some hiccups, their bullpen kept the Angels off the board the rest of the way.

"We had a lot of great opportunities. We could have easily put our heads down when it was 8-2, but we fought back," Trout said. "We just fell short."

NOTES: The Angels traded RHP Ernesto Frieri to Pittsburgh for RHP Jason Grilli before the game. "We're trying to get a bullpen with some chemistry," Scioscia said. ... The Angels optioned INF Efren Navarro to Triple-A Salt Lake and recalled RHP Michael Kohn after the game. ... Royals RHP Yordano Ventura faces Angels LHP Hector Santiago on Saturday.

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