The Associated PressANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — After Andrew Heaney induced a long flyout with his 100th and final pitch, he left the mound with the fervent hope that the Los Angeles Angels were on their way to a victory that would deliver a statement to the mighty Houston Astros.
With late help from Kole Calhoun’s arm in right field, the Angels made it.
Heaney struck out 10 during a career-high eight innings of four-hit ball, and the Angels pulled percentage points ahead of Houston atop the AL West with a 2-1 victory over the Astros on Monday night.
“It’s good to get a win to start a series against a divisional team, and a team that we think we’re going to be fighting tooth and nail with to the end,” said Heaney, who also matched his career best in strikeouts.
Justin Upton singled home the tiebreaking run in the sixth inning for the Angels (25-16), who beat the defending World Series champions (26-17) for the third time in four meetings this season.
Luis Valbuena drove in an early run for the Angels in the opener of a three-game series between the Astros and their most significant early season rival in the AL West.
Heaney (2-2) led the way, limiting Houston to five baserunners over eight innings while outpitching Lance McCullers Jr., who took his first loss in seven starts since April 6.
“I think we want to establish that it’s not a [surprise] we just won that game,” Heaney said. “It’s [saying] we can beat those guys.
“We’re just as good, if not better than these guys.”