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OC Register: Andrew Heaney finishes encouraging season for Angels, who win on Shohei Ohtani homer


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  • GettyImages-1041479636.jpg

    The Angels’ Mike Trout congratulates teammate Shohei Ohtani after Ohtani hti a go-ahead solo home run during the eighth inning of Wednesday’s 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • RANGERS_ANGELS_BASEBALL_26957865.jpg

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney gathers himself on the mound as Texas Rangers designated hitter Adrian Beltre rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26957557_211228.

    Texas Rangers starting pitcher Yohander Mendez works to a Los Angeles Angels batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • GettyImages-1041458192.jpg

    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 26: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim runs to first base after hitting an RBI single during the fourth inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 26, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • GettyImages-1041451356.jpg

    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 26: Adrian Beltre #29 of the Texas Rangers is congratulated in the dugout after hitting a solo homerun during the second inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on September 26, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • GettyImages-1041458110.jpg

    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 26: Jurickson Profar #19 of the Texas Rangers reacts to hitting a solo homerun during the fifth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angel Stadium on September 26, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • GettyImages-1041479614.jpg

    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 26: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim connects for a solo homerun during the eighth inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 26, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • GettyImages-1041479618.jpg

    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 26: Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim connects for a solo homerun during the eighth inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 26, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • GettyImages-1041479622.jpg

    ANAHEIM, CA – SEPTEMBER 26: Third base coach Dino Ebel #21 congratulates Shohei Ohtani #17 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim after his solo homerun during the eighth inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Angel Stadium on September 26, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26957553_481244.

    Los Angeles Angels second baseman Kaleb Cowart throws to first after forcing out Texas Rangers’ Jurickson Profar at second, but nott in time to get Rougned Odor during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • Rangers-Angels-Baseball_26957627_759962.

    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney delivers to a Texas Rangers batter during the first inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • RANGERS_ANGELS_BASEBALL_26957863.jpg

    Texas Rangers center fielder Carlos Tocci reaches to catch a fly ball hit by Los Angeles Angels’ Taylor Ward during the second inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • RANGERS_ANGELS_BASEBALL_26958127.jpg

    Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani watches his RBI single next to Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos during the fourth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

  • RANGERS_ANGELS_BASEBALL_26958131.jpg

    Texas Rangers’ Jurickson Profar, right, gets congratulations from Rougned Odor after hitting a solo home run against the Los Angeles Angels during the fifth inning of a baseball game in Anaheim, Calif., Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

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ANAHEIM — Andrew Heaney ended up as one of the pleasant surprises of an Angels pitching staff otherwise marred by injuries.

Heaney gave up two runs in seven innings in the Angels’ 3-2 victory over the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night, finishing his season with a 4.15 ERA over 180 innings.

The game was tied when Heaney left, but Shohei Ohtani provided the lead with a homer off the top of the left field fence in the eighth. It was Ohtani’s 22nd homer of the season. It came in his first at-bat against Rangers reliever Chris Martín, who was his teammate the last two seasons with the Nippon Ham Fighters.

It came too late to get a victory for Heaney, but it was otherwise a successful finish to his first full season after missing most of the previous two because of Tommy John surgery.

After missing the first two weeks of the season with elbow inflammation, Heaney made 30 starts without interruption.

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“I think he’s been terrific,” Manager Mike Scioscia said before the game. “You are talking about a guy who has jumped up, especially after he had a little setback with his elbow in spring training, to putting an exclamation point on where he is and where he can be.

“He’s thrown against some incredibly tough lineups that have been playing at a very high level and he’s shut them down. I think that just points to Andrew’s talent and hopefully, he’ll continue to grow there from there.”

Heaney, 27, had a few memorable outings during the season, most notably a one-hit shutout on his birthday in June. There were times when he struggled, but he was fairly consistent. He had 17 quality starts.

Heaney also showed an ability to bounce back from one bad start before it became two or three. After he allowed six runs in three innings against the Houston Astros in his last time out, he held the Rangers to just solo homers by Adrian Beltre and Jurickson Profar.

Heaney struck out 10 and walked one, retiring the last nine batters he faced after the Profar homer.

After needing 88 pitches to get through six, Heaney was sent back for the seventh and he put away the Rangers on 12 more, reaching the 100-pitch mark for the first time since July 22. No other Angels pitcher had gotten there since.

The Angels had just 21 games in which their starter got to 100 pitches, and Heaney was responsible for eight of them.

He had fallen behind 2-1 in the top of the fifth, on the Profar homer, but then Taylor Ward tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a homer.

Ward was hitting .165 coming into Wednesday’s game. But Scioscia said he’d seen some adjustments recently and was taking “better swings the last couple nights.”

“I think a guy like Taylor knows the challenge,” Scioscia said before the game. “He’s not going to set himself up to win a spot next year with what he does this last week, but he is certainly using this experience for the process, to get his swing more consistent and handle a variety of pitches. A hundred at-bats at the major league level really just shows you what the challenge is.”

More to come on this story.

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