Former Utah Ute slugger C.J. Cron made the most of his first career Major League Baseball start Saturday night.
Cron, who's played 28 games for the Salt Lake Bees this season, was called up to the major leagues on Saturday and finished the night 3-for-5 at the plate, driving in two runs, including the go-ahead run in the sixth inning, as the Los Angeles Angels defeated the Texas Rangers 5-3.
"It was unbelievable, man. Every ballplayer's dream is to be at this stage, and just being able to help the team win is an awesome feeling," Cron told the Associated Press. "I don't think it's really sunk in yet. There were obviously nerves. It's tough not to have them, but you have to contain them. Once the first pitch was thrown in the game, I calmed down a little bit."
The 2011 first round draft pick wasted no time collecting his first career hit, singling in Mike Trout in the first inning to give Los Angeles a 1-0 lead against the Rangers.
Cron then doubled in his second at-bat in the third inning, but was thrown out at third trying to advance one batter later. After grounding out in the fourth inning, Cron connected on a two-out RBI single in the bottom of the sixth inning to give the Angels a 4-3 lead.
Cron also reached base on a fielder's choice in the eighth inning, but was stranded at second.
He became just the fourth Angel to collect three hits in his major league debut in franchise history, and made a good first impression with his new ball club.
Welcome to the show, @CCron24! The rookie's first big league hit goes for an RBI single to give the Halos a 1-0 lead.— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 4, 2014
C.J. Cron joins Kendrys Morales, Lee Stevens and Gil Flores as the only #Angels with three hits in Major League debut.— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 4, 2014
Here's what we know about C.J. Cron: His horse is called California Cron His favorite internet browser is Google Cron His fans are Cronies— Los Angeles Angels (@Angels) May 4, 2014
The former Ute was called up Saturday afternoon along with Bees infielder Luis Jimenez, who leads the Bees with seven home runs in 2014.
"We plan on getting his bat in the lineup as much as we can," Angels manager Mike Scioscia told the OC Register. "C.J. had a terrific spring for us. I think he's really found a comfort level the last couple years. He had a great Fall League, a springboard to a terrific spring training. He's off to a great start there. Hopefully he'll give us a little boost right now."
Cron has hit .319 with 12 doubles, six home runs and 26 RBIs this season for Salt Lake, and at the time of his call-up, he led the Pacific Coast League in doubles and extra-base hits (19).
He was originally slated as Los Angeles' designated hitter Saturday night, but was moved to first base in the Angels lineup an hour before first pitch. Cron batted fifth in the Angels lineup.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @brandonljudd