Heaney K's 10 as rested Angels edge M's

August 29th, 2020

After having Wednesday and Thursday off, Angels manager Joe Maddon called it the club’s mini All-Star break and was hopeful for a reset after a frustrating first half of the season.

The Angels looked crisper in their return on Friday, as left-hander threw 7 2/3 strong innings and was backed by a three-hit game from , an RBI double from and a home run from in a 3-2 win over the Mariners at Angel Stadium. But it was also a bittersweet victory, as the club traded Tommy La Stella to the A’s for infielder Franklin Barreto during the game, signifying their status as sellers.

"It kind of puts into perspective the kind of season that we're having, obviously, when you're shipping guys out," Heaney said. "That's never a good feeling. A little bit of introspection. You're trying to look at it like, 'If I would've just pitched better, maybe my teammate would still be here.’”

Heaney had struggled over his last three outings, posting a combined 9.00 ERA in 14 innings. But he's still been striking out hitters and keeping the ball in the park this year, indicating he's been the victim of some bad luck.

He looked sharper against Seattle, allowing one run on four hits and two walks with a season-high 10 strikeouts. He improved to 2-2 with a 4.62 ERA in seven starts this season. He's struck out 41 batters and walked 13 in 37 innings while surrendering just two homers.

“A lot of strikes, he filled up the strike zone, he was in attack mode and I’m here to tell you if he could just stay in that frame of mind, he can be that successful on a consistent basis,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “The [radar] gun number is not gonna read really high, but on field level, it jumps at the end, and hitters will show you that.”

Heaney didn't allow a run until the sixth inning, as he gave up a leadoff double to J.P. Crawford and an RBI single to Sam Haggerty on a 1-2 curveball to surrender the game's first run. But Heaney was otherwise solid and had no trouble missing bats, registering 23 swings and misses, including 10 with his curveball, nine with his four-seamer and four with his changeup.

"I made a bad pitch, 1-2 single up the middle, and then just kind of settled in," Heaney said. "When you feel like you can minimize those big innings and feel like that's really all they can scrape off to you, then you feel pretty confident."

The offense was mostly quiet, but got Heaney the lead with two runs in the sixth against lefty Nick Margevicius. Shohei Ohtani sparked the rally with a walk and stole second before scoring on a double from Pujols. It was career double No. 665 for Pujols, which put him in a tie with Hall of Famer George Brett for sixth on the all-time list. Upton followed with an RBI single to score Pujols and is showing signs of breaking out of his season-long slump.

Trout homered in the eighth for an insurance run, which turned out to be key with the Mariners scoring in the ninth on an RBI single from Tim Lopes. But right fielder Jo Adell made a nice play to get to the ball quickly and Andrelton Simmons helped complete an impressive relay play to get José Marmolejos at third base for the second out.

“If we don't make that play, it’s a chance to be an entirely different ballgame, and that's an understatement,” Maddon said. "So when you do the little things well ... I want the little things to be a big part of our culture as we move this thing forward. That's a perfect example.”