ANAHEIM -- Left-hander Andrew Heaney celebrated his 27th birthday in style, firing a one-hit shutout to lead the Angels to a 1-0 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.Heaney took the mound in the ninth with a pitch count of 105 and promptly retired Jonathan Jay, Whit
ANAHEIM -- Left-hander Andrew Heaney celebrated his 27th birthday in style, firing a one-hit shutout to lead the Angels to a 1-0 win over the Royals on Tuesday night at Angel Stadium.
Heaney took the mound in the ninth with a pitch count of 105 and promptly retired Jonathan Jay, Whit Merrifield and Mike Moustakas to cap his first complete game on a career-high 116 pitches. The lefty allowed only three baserunners, walked one and struck out four. It marked the first shutout by an Angels pitcher since Ricky Nolasco on July 1, 2017, against the Mariners.
"You can't say enough about what Andrew did," manager Mike Scioscia said. "Just the quality of his pitches, maintaining stuff, pitching with his back against the wall the whole game and doing a great job finishing it off. His stuff in ninth inning was as good as anytime during all game. ... That was a masterpiece."
Heaney, who improved to 3-4 and lowered his ERA to 3.12, looked dominant from the outset, effectively mixing his fastball, slider and changeup to befuddle the Royals' lineup and deliver the best performance of his five years in the Majors.
"It's first time I've ever done it in pro ball," Heaney said. "It was fun. You want to shake your catcher's hand, then go shake hands with your teammates. It's something I'll never forget. I'll try to do it again."
After hitting Jay with his second pitch of the game, Heaney retired 13 in a row and didn't allow a hit until Hunter Dozier lined a one-out single to left field in the fifth inning. Heaney also issued a two-out walk to Jorge Soler in the seventh, but he did not allow any other baserunners.
"Really good," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "Sneaky, sneaky fastball. Got it up to 94 in the eighth inning. Mixed in some good changeups, curveballs. We just couldn't center his fastball."
Heaney outdueled Brad Keller, a 22-year-old right-hander who is transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation for the Royals. Keller was charged with one run on five hits over 4 1/3 innings before reaching his prescribed 75-pitch limit in his second career starting assignment.
Keller stymied the Angels early on, matching Heaney with four scoreless innings to start the game. The Angels threatened in the fourth after Michael Trout reached on an infield single and advanced to third on Justin Upton's single off Mike Moustakas' glove, but Keller induced a pair of flyouts to shallow center field from Luis Valbuena and Zack Cozart to strand the runners.
But the Angels wouldn't be denied in the fifth. After Chris Young and Michael Hermosillo strung together back-to-back singles with one out, Yost opted to replace Keller with reliever Kevin McCarthy.
Ian Kinsler flied out to center field for the second out, but the Angels then scored the only run of the evening during an at-bat by Jefry Marte. Hermosillo broke for second and drew a throw from Salvador Perez, allowing Young to score before Hermosillo was tagged out in a rundown.
"It's the play [Scioscia] put on, and it was a great time for it," Young said. "They pitched a great game today, and neither team was allowing too much. You're just trying to steal one. You're gambling from third base. If [Perez] holds on to the ball, I'm just out. It's a pure gamble, and I'm glad it worked out."
Shortstop Andrelton Simmons exited the game after two innings with a sprained right ankle. Simmons suffered the injury after slipping on the dugout steps before the game. The Gold Glove infielder said he hopes to only miss a couple of games, but he acknowledged that the disabled list is a possibility. Cozart moved from third base to shortstop at the beginning of the third inning to replace Simmons. More >
Heaney is the first Angels pitcher to throw a shutout on his birthday since Andy Messersmith blanked the Twins on Aug. 6, 1971.
Shohei Ohtani (4-1, 3.18 ERA) returns to the mound on Wednesday at 7:07 p.m. PT as the Angels try to sweep their three-game series with the Royals at Angel Stadium. Ohtani will be facing Kansas City for the first time and start opposite right-hander Ian Kennedy (1-6, 6.08 ERA), who has the highest ERA among qualified starters in the American League. The Angels are 6-2 when Ohtani takes the mound.
Maria Guardado covers the Angels for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.