ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It was the kind of major league debut most dream about but only comes to fruition for a few. Count Angels first baseman C.J. Cron among the chosen few.
The 24-year-old Arizona native stroked not one, not two but three hits and drove in two runs to lead the Angels past American League West rival Texas 5-3 on Saturday night in front of 39,107 at Angels Stadium.
Cron's third hit of the night was a sixth-inning single with two outs that drove in second baseman Howie Kendrick for the go-ahead run.
Cron did not waste any time getting his first major league hit, or his first RBI for that matter. He roped a single in the first inning, knocking in center fielder Mike Trout to give the Angels the early lead.
Cron, a first-round draft pick in 2011, had an equally productive second at-bat. It came in the third after a single by Kendrick.
This time, Cron lined a double that Rangers center fielder Leonys Martin had in his glove momentarily. It squirted out of his glove as he hit the outfield wall. Kendrick then scored on an infield out by shortstop Erick Aybar to make it 2-0.
Angels starter Garrett Richards (3-0) dodged trouble early, but the Rangers pushed across three runs in the fourth to take a 3-2 lead.
Texas had five hits in the inning, all singles. Catcher Robinson Chirinios and left fielder Shin-Soo Choo delivered RBI hits, and the third run scored on a groundout by designated hitter Keith Moreland.
The Angels tied it in the fourth on a run-scoring single by designated hitter Albert Pujols.
It stayed that way until the Angels scored the decisive run in the sixth and then added an insurance run on a double by Kendrick in the eighth.
Both teams had more than their share of wasted opportunities. The Angels stranded 13 runners and the Rangers nine.
Shawn Tolleson, the second of four Texas pitchers, was tagged with the loss.
NOTES: The Angels made roster moves before the game, putting 3B David Freese on the disabled list. He sustained a fractured middle finger after getting hit by a pitch from the Rangers' Colby Lewis in Friday's game. OF J.B. Shuck and RHP Yoslan Herrera were optioned back to Triple-A Salt Lake City. ... Joining the Angels are INF Luis Jimenez and Cron, both from Salt Lake City. ... Saturday's game marked the fifth in a nine-game homestand for the Angels. ... Texas came into Saturday's game 58-38 against the Angels since the start of 2009 season and has won the season series four of five years. The Rangers had won six of last eight and nine of last 12 at Angels Stadium. ... Rangers OF Shin-Soo Choo was back on the field Saturday despite dealing with a sore left ankle. It was his first game in the outfield since April 21.