Tampa Bay topples Kansas City 5 to 3


C.J. Cron is playing well heading into a series against his former team.

Cron homered and scored three runs, and the Tampa Bay Rays beat Kansas City 5-3 on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep of the woeful Royals.

"He produced," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "I know the home runs are great and he's done that throughout his career, but the at-bats he's having, finding ways to get hits, and then he did it on the bases, too. He's helped us a lot. I'm glad he's getting hot at the right time to go into Anaheim."

The Rays acquired Cron in a February trade with the Angels, where his plate-appearances were sporadic playing behind Albert Pujols. The Rays open a four-game Thursday at Anaheim.

Cron extended his on-base streak to 22 games when he was hit by a pitch from Jason Hammel (0-5) in a three-run first that included Brad Miller's RBI groundout and Adeiny Hechavarria's two-run single.

Cron homered leading off the third, then singled in the fifth and scored on Wilson Ramos' double-play grounder for a 5-1 lead. Cron is hitting .319 with 19 RBIs in the 22-game streak. He has 10 of the Rays' 37 homers.

Tampa Bay had lost six of seven coming in but swept the Royals for the first time since four games from Aug. 8-11, 2011. The Rays had not swept a series in Kansas City since three games from July 17-19, 2009.

Kansas City has lost five straight and seven of eight, dropping to 13-30 for its worst 43-game start since opening with a 10-33 record in 2006. The Royals are 6-16 at Kauffman Stadium.

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