Albert Pujols' grand slam helps Angels beat Dodgers 6-0
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) Andrew Heaney pitched 5 1-3 hitless innings in his last outing of the spring for the Los Angeles Angels, and his reward was getting optioned to Triple-A three days before the season opener.
''I wanted to show these guys what I can do, whether I'm on the team or not,'' Heaney said following his 6-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night in the middle game of the Freeway Series. ''For me, I know that if I can go out there and do what I did tonight and build on that, I'll be here eventually.''
Albert Pujols hit a grand slam and David Freese also homered in support of Heaney, who struck out three and walked three in his sixth start while lowering his spring ERA from 9.00 to 7.03.
The Dodgers acquired the 23-year-old lefty on Dec. 10 in a multiplayer trade with the Miami Marlins, then dealt him to the Angels on the same day for Howie Kendrick - the franchise leader in hits by a second baseman.
''It was exciting and nerve-wracking that day,'' Heaney recalled. ''But regardless of what team I'm on, it's still baseball. I was excited when I found out I was a Dodger, and I was really excited when I found out I was an Angel.''
Heaney, the ninth pick in the 2012 draft, escaped a bases-loaded jam in the first when Yasmani Grandal flied out after a pair of two-out walks.
''In the first inning, I wasn't really locked in on either side of the plate,'' Heaney said. ''Drew Butera was putting down the right signals, but I wasn't executing. I was kind of fighting some old habits - trying to pick and choose a side instead of establishing the fastball and working from there. But once I started getting there, we got on the right page and it was awesome.''
Angels manager Mike Scioscia liked what he saw from Heaney and is confident he will be a part of the mix in due time.
''Andrew worked very, very hard this week in drills and had a good bullpen to try to find that same motion, delivery and tempo that made him one of the most coveted pitching prospects in baseball a couple of years ago,'' Scioscia said.
''He had some issues with it when he had his opportunity in the big leagues with the Marlins last year. Coming into camp this year, he was a little further across his body as far as his delivery. Sometimes it's not a quick fix or an easy fix. But Andrew made some adjustments in all the areas that are important. And you can certainly see why we're excited about him.''
Jose Alvarez retired the last two batters in the sixth after relieving Heaney, then gave up a leadoff single in the seventh by Scott Van Slyke that broke up the Angels' no-hit bid. Fernando Salas, Joe Smith and Huston Street finished the combined two-hitter.
Freese opened the scoring in the second, driving a 3-1 pitch from Brandon McCarthy into the left-field bullpen after Matt Joyce was hit in the leg by a pitch leading off the inning.
The Angels loaded the bases in the fifth before Pujols drove a 1-0 pitch from right-hander Pedro Baez over the fence in left-center. Pujols is hitting .291 this spring with five homers and 19 RBIs in 20 games.
McCarthy, who will begin the season as the Dodgers' No. 3 starter, was charged with two runs and three hits over three innings. He finished the spring 1-2 with a 6.62 ERA in five starts.
The right-hander is in the first season of a $48 million, four-year contract after spending last season with the Diamondbacks and Yankees.
''I feel like he's had a good camp and he's been able to do all of the things he wanted to do,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''After the third inning, I told him: `Hey, you're walking out of camp healthy and you're as close as you're going to be.'''
SHAKING IT OFF
Dodgers RF Yasiel Puig was back in the lineup and went 0 for 3, one night after he collided with Kendrick while chasing a bloop triple by Mike Trout. Puig was removed from that game by head trainer Stan Conte as a precaution.
''Stan told me last night that he thought he'd be fine today, so we just put the lineup card up,'' Mattingly said. ''Usually, if something's going on, Stan would come running after me.''
SUPPORT FOR HAMILTON
Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto wasn't happy about an arbitrator's ruling that LF Josh Hamilton will not be disciplined by Major League Baseball for his latest problems involving cocaine and alcohol - but pitcher C.J. Wilson was.
''I think it's great for Josh, obviously,'' said Wilson, who was Hamilton's teammate for four seasons with Texas before they were reunited in Anaheim two years ago. ''That gives him just a very straightforward, linear path to coming back. All he's got to do now is just focus on getting healthy. There won't be any other obstacles, which I think is a good thing.''
Game 3 of the Freeway Series, with Angels LHP Hector Santiago opposing LHP Brett Anderson in the preseason finale for both clubs.