The last time Andrew Heaney toed the rubber on the Angel Stadium mound, he was impressive, carrying a no-hitter for 5.1 innings in a Spring Training game against the Dodgers.
Immediately following that outing, he was sent down to Triple-A Salt Lake as the Angels trimmed the roster closer to the 25 needed for Opening Day.
Heaney left Anaheim confident. Mike Scioscia was confident he’d see Heaney back in the majors again.
The Angels lefty made his return to The Big A, making his Angels debut and tossed a gem of a no-decision in the Angels 2-1 win over the Astros in 13 innings Wednesday afternoon.
Heaney went six innings and gave up four hits while allowing one earned run. He struck out five and walked one.
“This is the guy that I know our scouting department and (Angels general manager) Jerry (Dipoto) had hoped we would see in the spring,” Scioscia said. “He wasn’t quite where he was but he went down to Salt Lake and worked hard on it. He’s got real stuff.”
Prior to the game, Scioscia said Heaney was “ready for the challenge” of competing in the majors. He certainly looked it on Wednesday afternoon.
He faced the minimum in each of his first four innings.
The first jam he found himself in was thanks to an error but he was able to get out of it unscathed in the top of the fifth with runners on the corners and two outs.
Carlos Correa, who dazzled in his first trip to Anaheim, drove in the lone run against Heaney in the sixth with an RBI double.
“I wish I wouldn’t have given up the one run,” Heaney said. “But, I felt good.
“I feel confident in my game right now. It’s a matter of going out and executing pitches.”
In 14 starts with Salt Lake this season, Heaney is 6-2 with a 4.71 ERA. He struck out 74 and walked 25 in 78.1 innings.
Heaney is considered a top-50 prospect by most major outlets. Baseball America listed him as the Angels No. 1 prospect entering the 2015 season. Wednesday marked his eighth appearance in the big leagues. He made seven appearances, including five starts with the Marlins last season.
With an off day Thursday, the Angels weren’t expected to bring up a pitcher to add to the rotation in light of Jered Weaver being placed on the DL last weekend but Heaney being called up Wednesday changed that.
Heaney arrived and looked like the player the Angels hoped they were getting when he was acquired by the club during the offseason.