Heaney might not have been quite as dominant as when he pitched into the eighth with 10 strikeouts last Friday against Seattle, factoring in the opponent on Thursday his seven scoreless frames might be even more impressive.
The left-hander struck out six and induced 15 swinging strikes, his second-highest total of the year. Heaney allowed only three singles and two walks. San Diego only got one runner into scoring position against him, and Heaney struck out Jake Cronenworth to end that fifth-inning threat.
Heaney threw a career-high 117 pitches Thursday, notching his second straight win and third victory of the season.
“I talked with Mickey [Callaway, pitching coach] after that sixth inning. I knew we had Hosmer, and he asked me how I was feeling. I told him ‘Let me go batter by batter, keep an eye on me, but I feel good,’” Heaney said via conference call after the game. “I told him I’m at about a quarter tank right now, which when you’re 100 pitches in like, that’s actually a good place to be.”
The Angels got leadoff hits in each of the first four innings against Mike Clevinger, and cashed in two of them.
Justin Upton singled home Anthony Rendon in the fourth inning for the Angels second run of the game. It was the second single of the night for Upton, who has two multi-hit games in his last five games, after none through his first 20 contests this season.
Upton had a horrific start to his season, just 6 for 64 (.094/.169/.188) though August 19. He had as many hits in six games since, entering Thursday, with a .357 expected batting average per Baseball Savant. Add in Thursday’s two hits, and Upton is 8-for-24 (.333) over the last 11 days.
“I’ve seen that in the setup. It looks better,” manager Joe Maddon said on a conference call before Thursday’s game. “He’s got a more simple, direct first move to the bat, and because of that he’s making better decisions. ... I think he’s starting to feel pretty good about himself.”
- Andrelton Simmons had two hits of his own off Clevinger, including driving in the Angels’ first run of the game, in the third inning. Simmons in his career is 9-for-17 (.529) against Clevinger.
- Rendon tripled and doubled on Thursday, continuing his weird splits in 2020. Rendon has 12 extra-base hits in 20 home games this season, and just one in 13 games on the road.
- Mike Mayers pitched a perfect eighth in relief, with two strikeouts. Since the beginning of August, Mayers has allowed two runs (one earned) in 9⅔ innings, with 16 strikeouts and a 40-percent strikeout rate.
- Felix Peña picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth, and his first save since 2016.
- Thursday was just the second interleague win this season for the Angels, in eight tries. Their next National League opponent comes next weekend, facing the Rockies for three games at Coors Field from Sept. 11-13.
Home runs: none
WP — Andrew Heaney (3-2): 7 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts
LP — Mike Clevinger (1-2): 6 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Sv — Felix Peña (1): 1 IP, 1 strikeout
The Angels finish off their homestand with a four-game weekend series against the Astros, with Dylan Bundy starting Friday’s series opener (6:10 p.m. PT, Fox Sports West) against Lance McCullers Jr. for Houston.