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OC Register: Andrew Heaney dominates as Angels edge Astros


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  • The Angels’ Andrelton Simmons scores a run in the second inning on a single by Luis Valbuena in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    The Angels’ Andrelton Simmons scores a run in the second inning on a single by Luis Valbuena in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Luis Valbuena #18 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches an RBI single as Max Stassi #12 of the Houston Astros looks on during the second inning of  a game at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Luis Valbuena #18 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim watches an RBI single as Max Stassi #12 of the Houston Astros looks on during the second inning of a game at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

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  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • The Angels’ Mike Trout fouls off a pitch against Houston in the first inning in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    The Angels’ Mike Trout fouls off a pitch against Houston in the first inning in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on after striking out during the first  inning of  a game against the Houston Astros  at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on after striking out during the first inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve, top, throws to first base to compete a double play after forcing out Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Valbuena during the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve, top, throws to first base to compete a double play after forcing out Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Valbuena during the second inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the second inning of  a game against the Houston Astros  at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Andrew Heaney #28 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim pitches during the second inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fields a double hit by Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros during the fourth inning of  a game at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fields a double hit by Evan Gattis #11 of the Houston Astros during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros’ Josh Reddick, center, is greeted by teammates after he scored on a single by Max Stassi during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Houston Astros’ Josh Reddick, center, is greeted by teammates after he scored on a single by Max Stassi during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros’ Josh Reddick, center, is greeted by teammates after he scored on a single by Max Stassi during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Houston Astros’ Josh Reddick, center, is greeted by teammates after he scored on a single by Max Stassi during the third inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Manager Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on during  a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Manager Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim looks on during a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton connects with an RBI single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Justin Upton connects with an RBI single during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • The Angels’ Martin Maldonado slides into home to score a run against Houston in the sixth inning on a single by Justin Upton in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    The Angels’ Martin Maldonado slides into home to score a run against Houston in the sixth inning on a single by Justin Upton in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Kole Calhoun #56, and Manager Mike Scioscia  conratulate Martin Maldonado #12 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after he scored during the sixth  inning of  a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Kole Calhoun #56, and Manager Mike Scioscia conratulate Martin Maldonado #12 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after he scored during the sixth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:   Andrelton Simmons #2 scores on an RBI single hit by Luis Valbuena #18 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the second  inning of  a game against the Houston Astros  at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Andrelton Simmons #2 scores on an RBI single hit by Luis Valbuena #18 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim during the second inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is out at second base as Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros turns a double play during the fourth inning of  a game at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim is out at second base as Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros turns a double play during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim laughs with Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros after being tagged out at second base on a double play during the fourth inning of  a game at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Justin Upton #8 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim laughs with Jose Altuve #27 of the Houston Astros after being tagged out at second base on a double play during the fourth inning of a game at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • The Angels’ Martin Maldonado ducks to avoid getting hit by a pitch in the sixth inning against Houston in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    The Angels’ Martin Maldonado ducks to avoid getting hit by a pitch in the sixth inning against Houston in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14:  Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim flys out during the fourth inning of  a game against the Houston Astros  at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

    ANAHEIM, CA – MAY 14: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim flys out during the fourth inning of a game against the Houston Astros at Angel Stadium on May 14, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout reacts after hitting a fly ball during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout reacts after hitting a fly ball during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney delivers a pitch against Houston in the first inning in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney delivers a pitch against Houston in the first inning in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney stands on the mound during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney stands on the mound during the first inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • The Angels’ Andrelton Simmons slides back to the bag at first on a pick off attempt as Houston first baseman Yuli Gurriel takes the throw from the pitcher in the second inning in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

    The Angels’ Andrelton Simmons slides back to the bag at first on a pick off attempt as Houston first baseman Yuli Gurriel takes the throw from the pitcher in the second inning in Anaheim on Monday, May 14, 2018. (Photo by Paul Rodriguez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, left, and Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve share a light moment before a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout, left, and Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve share a light moment before a baseball game, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

  • Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve sings in the dugout before the team’s baseball game with the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

    Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve sings in the dugout before the team’s baseball game with the Los Angeles Angels, Monday, May 14, 2018, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

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ANAHEIM — On a day the Angels’ bullpen got a little weaker, the rotation picked up the slack with one of its best performances of the season.

Andrew Heaney pitched eight brilliant innings in the Angels’ 2-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Monday night, hours after the team announced that closer Keynan Middleton had a damaged ulnar collateral ligament.

Rookie Justin Anderson, who failed in an attempt for his first career save on Friday, this time got the job done, with an assist from Kole Calhoun. Calhoun made a nice catch down the right-field line and then a strong throw to nail George Springer trying to go second. The Angels won the first game of this three-game series between the top two teams in the American League West.

The Angels bullpen has mostly performed well this year, but they’ve been overworked, which has led to some cracks and perhaps even some injuries.

Although the starters have been more effective lately, even in their best games they have struggled to get beyond the sixth inning.

Heaney was the first Angels pitcher this year to get into the eighth. He delivered a performance that was at times dominant, and also efficient. He gave up four hits and struck out 10, but he did so while needing just 100 pitches, including 64 strikes.

He retired the first six hitters, three of them with strikeouts. In the third, Josh Reddick doubled and then scored on a Max Stassi single.

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That was all Heaney allowed.

Evan Gattis led off the fifth with a double, but Heaney then struck out Reddick, Stassi and Derek Fisher to escape. He retired the side in the order in the sixth, and in the seventh he gave up a leadoff single to Carlos Correa, but then got Yuli Gurriel to hit into a double play.

It was Heaney’s fourth consecutive strong performance since he moved back to the first base side of the rubber.

Heaney allowed 10 earned runs in 9-1/3 innings in his first two starts of the season, when he was still pitching from the third base side of the rubber. He’d been unsuccessful from that side after coming back from Tommy John surgery last year, to the tune of a 7.06 ERA, with 12 homers allowed in 21-2/3 innings.

Since moving about a foot to his left, Heaney has a 1.80 ERA in four starts, with 26 strikeouts and six walks in 25 innings. He has not allowed a home run.

“I think Andrew is feeling much more comfortable with his delivery and being able to repeat it, repeat pitches,” Manager Mike Scioscia said before the game. “His fastball command has been what we know it can be and he’s been able to change speeds very well.

Heaney outpitched Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr., who so far has been the “weak” link in the majors’ best rotation. McCullers brought a 3.72 ERA into the game.

The Angels got a run against him in the second, when Andrelton Simmons singled, stole second and scored on a Luis Valbuena single.

They snapped a tie in the sixth. Martín Maldonado drew a walk and went to second on a Mike Trout walk. Justin Upton then lined a single into left, and Maldonado chugged home.

More to come on this story.

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