Cron hits 1st big league homer, Diamondbacks beat Jays 8-2

TORONTO (AP) — Kevin Cron’s first major league home run put Arizona Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo in a tough spot.

Cron homered, David Peralta had a solo shot among his three hits and the Diamondbacks beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-2 Friday night.

Luvollo had to restrain himself from hugging Cron after Arizona’s players decided to give the slugging rookie the silent treatment upon his return to the dugout.

“That’s not easy for me,” Lovullo said. “I’m a hugger, I’m an Italian guy. I like to go and just give them everything I’ve got, jump on them and bear-hug them.”

Merrill Kelly (6-6) allowed one run and three hits in seven innings for his second straight victory, and the Diamondbacks won for the fourth time in six games after a five-game losing streak.

“The way Merrill was throwing the ball, we weren’t going to need many,” Cron said.

Kelly is 5-2 with a 1.84 ERA in seven starts following a Diamondbacks victory.

Archie Bradley worked the eighth and T.J. McFarland finished.

While it might have gone against character for Lovullo to skimp on celebrating Cron’s shot, the rookie said his skipper played the part well.

“He did a good job of giving the guys coming into the dugout behind me their high fives and letting me walk right by him,” Cron said.

Needless to say, Cron had no complaints about the quiet reception for his first home run.

“It was pretty cool,” he said. “I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

The 26-year-old Cron led all minor leaguers with 21 home runs when he was called up May 24.

Cron’s brother, CJ, also homered Friday, hitting a solo shot for Minnesota in its win over Detroit.

“He’s the older brother, he can never let me have my own moment,” Kevin Cron joked.

Peralta singled in the second, drove in Arizona’s first run with an RBI single in the fourth, and homered in the sixth.

Arizona catcher Carson Kelly hit a solo home run in the ninth, his sixth of the season.

Toronto has scored two runs or fewer 25 times this season, second only to Miami (29). The Blue Jays are 1-24 in those games, and have lost 12 of 15 overall.

Blue Jays right-hander Marcus Stroman (3-8) gave up eight hits and matched his season-worst by allowing six runs in 5 2/3 innings, losing his second straight outing.

“Couple of balls up in the zone and they took advantage,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said.

The Diamondbacks broke a scoreless deadlock with a five-run fourth. Ketel Marte hit a one-out single, Eduardo Escobar walked and Peralta followed with an RBI single. A second run scored on Christian Walker’s ground rule double before Cron cleared the bases with a homer to left.

Toronto’s Teoscar Hernández got the Blue Jays on the board with a two-out homer in the fifth, his fourth.

Peralta pushed the lead back to five runs with a leadoff homer, his eighth of the season, in the sixth off Stroman. Escobar added an RBI single in the seventh.

Toronto’s Randal Grichuk scored from first base in the ninth when shortstop Nick Ahmed made a throwing error on Lourded Gurriel Jr.’s infield single.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: OF Adam Jones (right hamstring) was held out of the starting lineup for a second straight game. Jones left Tuesday’s game in the fourth inning. … 3B Jake Lamb (strained left quadriceps) is expected to begin a rehab assignment at Triple-A Reno on Saturday. He’s been out since April 3.

Blue Jays: SS Bo Bichette went 0 for 1 with two walks in a rehab game at Class-A Dunedin. It was Bichette’s first game since April 22, when he was hit by a pitch and broke his left hand while playing for Triple-A Buffalo. … RHP David Phelps will make his next rehab appearance with Triple-A. Phelps pitched a scoreless inning for Dunedin on Wednesday. … 1B Justin Smoak got the day off. Cavan Biggio made his first start at first base.

HAVE A BALL

Cron said he wasn’t sure he’d be able to keep the ball from his first homer.

“My mom might yank it out of my hands,” he said.

TOUCH UP JOB

Groundskeepers came out to work on the mound before Bradley took over in the bottom of the eighth.

REST IS IMPORTANT

The Diamondbacks are 8-0 following an off-day.

OUT OF THEIR LEAGUE

Toronto fell to 2-9 in interleague play.

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Zack Grienke (6-2, 3.09) is 3-1 with a 2.37 ERA in his past six road starts. He last faced Toronto in 2010.

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-6, 3.95) is winless since beating Oakland on April 27. He’s 0-5 with a 5.40 ERA in seven starts since.