Heaney sharp again as Angels beat Dodgers 2-1
LOS ANGELES (AP) Todd Cunningham singled home the go-ahead run in the eighth inning, Andrew Heaney pitched six sharp innings and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Dodgers 2-1 Thursday night in the opener of the preseason Freeway Series.
Reliever J.P. Howell gave up a leadoff single to Rafael Ortega and was replaced by Chris Hatcher, who surrendered Cunningham's lined single to center on a 1-1 pitch with runners at the corners and two out.
Al Alburquerque, who struck out the side on 15 pitches in the Dodgers' seventh, got credit for the victory.
Heaney allowed a run and six hits, struck out four and walked one while throwing 90 pitches. The left-hander finished the spring 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in five starts and will make his season debut next Tuesday against the Chicago Cubs at the ''Big A.''
The Angels opened the scoring in the fourth. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager - playing his first game since returning from a sprained left ankle - dropped a popup in short left field by Andrelton Simmons after a two-out walk to Kole Calhoun. Calhoun advanced to third on Seager's third error of the spring and scored on a single by Carlos Perez.
The Dodgers tied it in the fifth with the aid of a wild pitch following a leadoff single by Seager. One out later, Yasiel Puig drove him in with an opposite-field single to right.
Angels: Heaney made 18 starts for the Halos last season, going 6-4 with a 3.49 ERA after coming up from Triple-A Salt Lake.
''Andrew's really improved in every outing this spring and we anticipate a big season from him,'' manager Mike Scioscia said. ''I think the important thing is just being able to command his secondary pitches. When he does that, he's very tough. The other end of it is just building his stamina, and that's what he's doing now.''
Dodgers: Left-hander Scott Kazmir was charged with an unearned run and four hits over 4 2/3 innings, striking out four and walking two on 73 pitches. He finished his spring 0-1 with a 6.06 ERA in six starts.
''As a veteran pitcher, Kaz's spring went as planned,'' manager Dave Roberts said. ''I think there was a little too much made of velocity early on and getting guys out. But where he's at right now, he's ready to go. He had a career year in the American League, and that's a different league. But if he makes his starts, then I think all the numbers will line up.''
One of the Angels' biggest priorities again is to keep slugger Albert Pujols healthy through a full season following surgery on his right foot in November. So a fine balance between first base and DH will be necessary for the two-time Gold Glove winner and three-time NL MVP, who is coming off a 40-homer season that raised his career total to 560.
''Albert needs to swing the bat for us, so we don't want to risk anything he does in the batter's box and compromise that with him going out there at first base and trying to do too much,'' Scioscia said. ''There are games where I know that he wants to play first base because he's still a first baseman. He played first base the other day and came out of it strong, so that's a good sign.
''But we're going to monitor him and be sensitive to the fact of keeping him strong in the batter's box. The need to have him in the batter's box outweighs whatever need we have for him to play Gold Glove-caliber first base. And that's kind of where we're at right now.''
Angels: CF Mike Trout didn't play because of a stomach virus. ... LHP C.J. Wilson (left shoulder tendinitis) hasn't started to throw yet. He's going to be evaluated on his strength this weekend. ... RHP Jered Weaver threw 90 pitches Wednesday in a rehab start and came out of it very well, according to Scioscia.
Dodgers: C Yasmani Grandal has been limited to 16 at-bats with the club because of a forearm injury but homered in Thursday during a minor league game in Arizona and threw out a runner trying to steal second. He is expected to rejoin the Dodgers on Saturday in Anaheim and catch the second game of the season at San Diego. ... 3B/OF Alex Guerrero will begin the season on the disabled list after an MRI revealed minimal damage in his sprained left knee.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago is scheduled to start Game 2 of the Freeway Series on Friday night against the Angels at Angel Stadium.
Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda will start Friday night against the Angels.