Andrew Heaney feels awfully comfortable on the mound in Anaheim – and the results reflect that.
Heaney pitched seven solid innings in another quality start [url=http://www.eaglesauthorizedshops.com/authentic-richard-rodgers-jersey]Eagles Richard Rodgers Jersey[/url] , leading the Los Angeles Angels to a 2-1 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.
In his last six starts at Angel Stadium, Heaney is 4-1 with a 0.88 ERA. Since April 27, his home ERA is second-best in the majors to Jon Lester (0.56 ERA).
”I like pitching here,” Heaney said. ”It’s a familiar place. Pitched the majority of my career here. It’s a good place to pitch when you have our defense and the way the field plays, especially when you get later in the game, later at night, it’s a good place to pitch.”
Heaney (4-5) allowed just one run and nine hits, and struck out four with no walks. The left-hander has gone at least seven innings in three of his last four starts.
The Angels got on the scoreboard with a two-run first inning, giving Heaney all the support he would need. Justin Upton drew a two-out walk and Albert Pujols doubled him in. Luis Valbuena singled in Pujols from second to give the Angels a 2-0 lead.
The Blue Jays had things going in the seventh when Devon Travis hit a run-scoring double to right field to pull Toronto within a run at 2-1. But with runners on first and second, Heaney struck out Justin Smoak and got Yangervis Solarte to fly out to left field. Heaney punctuated Upton’s catch in left field with a fist pump – and his night was done.
Upton also made a fantastic, leaping catch against the left-field fence to rob Russell Martin of a potential home run in the second inning, which proved to be critical in a tight game.
”I try to catch every ball,” Upton said. ”I just got a good jump on that. I got a pretty good read on where it was going to be so I ran to that spot, found out where the fence was and went up to catch it.”
It was early in the game, but it would be a big factor in the final result.
”We threw some hits up there, we just couldn’t get that big one,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. ”That was a big play with Upton catching Russ’ ball early in the game. You don’t realize at that time (it’s big). Marco (Estrada) did a great job. Heaney did a great job. It was one of those ballgames where a big hit could’ve made a difference.”
Estrada (4-7) had a fine start, too. He allowed just two earned runs and three hits in seven innings and struck out seven. He got Mike Trout out all three times he faced him, including two on called strikeouts.
”To be honest with you, that first inning I had the sun right in my face, I don’t know what it was [url=http://www.greenbaypackersteamonline.com/jk-scott-jersey]JK Scott Jersey[/url] ,” Estrada said. ”There was a little opening at the top part of the stadium. I had no idea where the ball was going. It was really hard to see. Once that went away, I started making better pitches. Just elevated a lot. A lot of fastballs today up in the zone. That’s a really good lineup over there. I’ve struggled against them. Good to give the guys some innings and keep them in the game, but just came up short.”
Cam Bedrosian threw a perfect eighth in relief, and Blake Parker pitched a perfect ninth to earn his ninth save.
”It’s been good to win and good to hold some leads and get a little momentum after a couple, I wouldn’t say bad outings, but a couple outings where I gave up some runs,” Parker said. ”I just wanted to stay aggressive and continue to throw quality strikes. It was a big win. The bullpen, in particular, would like to keep coming in and shutting it down and carry that on into the road trip.”
Asked about Upton’s leaping catch, Heaney said: ”It’s just what they do. It’s not abnormal. They do that all the time. You get numb to stuff that Simba (Andrelton Simmons) does over there. Valbuena has been playing great. We’ve got tons of guys who can make plays like that, so it’s great to have them behind me.”
Simmons struck out in the fourth inning, a rarity for the Angels shortstop. It was his first strikeout since May 18, a span of 90 plate appearances. It was the fourth-longest streak in club history.
SOMETHING TO IT
The Blue Jays have lost 13 of their 14 games against left-handed starters.
Blue Jays: RHP Danny Barnes (knee tendinitis) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. … OF Steve Pearce (left oblique strain) was activated from the 10-day disabled list. … INF Josh Donaldson (calf tightness) is rehabbing in Florida and not scheduled to return on the team’s road trip, but possibly the Blue Jays’ next homestand.
Angels: RHP Shohei Ohtani (elbow) stood in the batter’s box in the bullpen and watched pitches to work on his timing while he’s on the disabled list. He’s also running to stay in shape. He’s scheduled to have his elbow re-evaluated Thursday. … LHP Tyler Skaggs, who was scratched on the day of his scheduled start on Thursday with tightness in a hamstring, threw long toss and will throw a bullpen session on Saturday.
Blue Jays: LHP Marcus Stroman (0-5, 7.71) is still looking for his first win of the season. It’s his first start since May 8, when he was placed on the disabled list with right shoulder fatigue.
Angels: RHP Jaime Barria (5-3, 3.57) is tied for the AL lead for rookies with wins. In his last start, he allowed a career-high six earned runs on six hits over four innings in a loss to Arizona.
Mired in the worst slump of his career, George Springer has been trying everything to break out of it.
His latest tactic came on Thursday night when he swiped reigning American League MVP Jose Altuve’s bat to use in the ninth inning.
The change worked [url=http://www.officialavalanche.com/authentic-adidas-sergei-boikov-jersey]Sergei Boikov Jersey[/url] , with Springer hitting an RBI single in Houston’s two-run rally that helped lift the Astros to a 4-3 win over the Chicago White Sox.
”My bat wasn’t seeming to work, so I figured I would try somebody else’s bat so I went with the hit king. I went with (No.) 27,” he said of Altuve, who has led the AL in hits the last four seasons and is in first place this year. ”It’s mine now, but it has his name on it.”
The Astros trailed by 1 when Joakim Soria (0-3) walked pinch-hitter Tony Kemp with no outs in the ninth before advancing to third on a single by pinch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez. Springer snapped an 0 for 8 slump and tied it at 3-3 with his RBI single to shallow center field. It was a much-needed hit for the World Series MVP who has been struggling lately, going 6 for 70 since June 15.
”I didn’t execute my pitches when I needed to,” Soria said.
Manager A.J. Hinch noted that Springer’s clutch hit was even more impressive considering the success Soria’s had against right-handers this season.
”Tough matchup for any right-handed hitter, especially if you’re carrying the weight of 65, 70 at-bats that players do when they go through what George has gone through,” Hinch said.
Alex Bregman walked to load the bases and Altuve struck out before Yuli Gurriel sent a ball over second baseman Yoan Moncada’s head into right field to start the celebration.
Altuve hit a two-run homer in the fifth inning to help Houston to the victory.
Justin Verlander bounced back from his last start where he allowed nine hits and five runs – both season highs – in a loss to Tampa Bay with a solid outing. He yielded four hits and two runs and struck out 10 in seven innings.
Joe Smith (3-1) allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for the win in his first appearance since June 6.
Omar Narvaez homered with two hits and Leury Garcia’s solo shot in the eighth inning put the White Sox up 3-2.
The score was tied at 2-all with one out in the eighth when Garcia sent a fastball from Chris Devenski into the bullpen in right-center to put the White Sox on top.
Chicago trailed 2-0 when Narvaez got Chicago within one with his solo homer to right field off Verlander to lead off the sixth. Moncada singled with two outs in the inning and Chicago tied it up when Yolmer Sanchez doubled to left field.
White Sox starter Carlos Rodon allowed five hits and two runs while tying a career-high with six walks in six innings.
Gurriel was on third base with one out in the eighth inning, but got caught in a rundown before Tyler White struck out to end the inning.
Rodon worked around singles by White and Jake Marisnick in the second inning and a pair of walks in the third. Houston couldn’t get anything going on offense until Bregman doubled with one out in the fifth inning and Altuve followed with his eighth homer of the season to make it 2-0.
Chicago’s Avisail Garcia went 0 for 4 with a strikeout to end his career-high 14-game hitting streak, which was the longest active streak in the majors.
Astros: Manager A.J. Hinch said SS Carlos Correa (back stiffness) is unlikely to come off the disabled list before Monday and he wouldn’t speculate on Thursday about whether he’ll return before the All-Star break. ”I don’t know how the next 11 days are going to go,” Hinch said. ”I know he’s probably not going to play this series. We’ll get to Monday and ask me again.”
White Sox: SS Tim Anderson left the game with one out in the bottom of the eighth inning after being plunked on the left forearm by Devenski in the top of the frame. He looked to be in quite a bit of pain, but remained in the game and stole second base before leaving in the bottom of the inning. ”It’s always the next day, the after effects of a blow like that,” White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. ”We’ll re-evaluate him (Friday). He’s day-to-day until I know more.”
THEY SAID IT
Narvaez on homering off Verlander after going 0 for 5 in his career against the right-hander: ”I had three years facing him and I haven’t gotten any hits. It was kind of exciting.”
Houston’s Lance McCullers (9-3, 3.55 ERA) opposes Chicago’s Reynaldo Lopez (4-5, 3.68) when the series continues on Friday night. McCullers allowed three hits in seven innings of a 1-0 win over Tampa Bay for his third straight win in his last start. Lopez yielded seven hits and two runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 10-5 win over Texas his last time out.