Angels trying to get to .500 as they host Mariners
Heaney will make his team-high 28th start of the season on Saturday night against the visiting Seattle Mariners in the third game of their four-game series at Angel Stadium.
He’ll try to get the first win of the series for Los Angeles.
The Angels (73-75) fell 8-2 in the opener on Thursday night, preventing them from climbing over .500 for the first time in four weeks. Seattle (81-46) then shut them out 5-0 on Friday night.
The Angels have scored two runs or fewer in five of their past six games.
While injuries have decimated the Angels’ starting pitching staff this season, Heaney seems to be getting stronger
Heaney (9-9, 3.98 ERA) struck out a career-high 12 batters in his last outing, throwing seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 win against the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
“I think as we continue to see him get his stamina as this year’s progressed, he finished strong,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia told MLB.com after that game. “He might have had some more left in him.”
Heaney’s only absence from the rotation was at the beginning of the season, when he missed two starts while recovering from left elbow inflammation.
“He got a little setback at the end of spring training, but right now he’s the lone survivor of what we had thought our rotation was going to be,” Scioscia said. “He’s been very strong.”
Heaney faced the Mariners twice in July and once in June.
In the June outing, the left-hander followed the first complete game of his career with a 5-3 loss to the Mariners in which he retired only nine batters and none of the five he faced in the fourth inning. Heaney gave up five runs and seven hits, and that three-inning start was his shortest since September.
He was much better in his next start against the Mariners on July 3, holding them to two earned runs over seven innings but again taking the loss in a 4-1 defeat.
Later that month, he faced Seattle for the first time this season at Angel Stadium and allowed three runs over eight innings before the Angels won 4-3 on a walk-off home run by Kole Calhoun in the 10th inning.
For his career, Heaney is 1-3 with a 3.78 ERA in six starts against Seattle.
The Mariners will send right-hander Erasmo Ramirez to the mound Saturday.
In his latest outing, Ramirez (2-3, 5.31) tossed five innings before getting a no-decision Sunday. He allowed two runs on six hits and two walks while striking out four in the 3-2 win over the New York Yankees.
“He kept grinding through it,” Mariners manager Scott Servais told MLB.com after the win. “It wasn’t his sharpest outing, but he made pitches when he needed to to keep them off the board the best he could.”
Ramirez has been terrific in his past two starts, giving up three runs in 10 1/3 innings while lowering his ERA from 6.28 to 5.31.
He is 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA in six career starts against the Angels, but has not faced them this season.