Heaney can’t stop the bleeding, Angels lose 6-1 to Cubs
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Andrew Heaney had to make a pit stop in the dugout after throwing his first pitch of the second inning because his nose was bleeding.
The Los Angeles Angels’ left-hander got back on the mound and seemed fine, once some gauze was placed in his left nostril by trainer Adam Nevala.
But then Matt Szczur homered on the first pitch of the third. And by the time Heaney could stop the bleeding against a tough Chicago Cubs lineup, they had put four runs across and were on their way to a 6-1 victory Tuesday night.
“I just got a little bit of a bloody nose, threw a pitch and it spewed down my shirt,” Heaney said. “Then I got it on my other sleeve and down my arm, so I figured I should probably say something.”
The Cubs’ rally continued with a fielder’s choice grounder by Jason Heyward, and two more runs came in on Anthony Rizzo’s homer to center field.
“It’s frustrating,” said Healey, who gave up seven hits over six innings with seven strikeouts and no walks. “I think I just tried to nibble a little too much. I just kind of got myself into some bad counts. And whenever I was in good counts, I didn’t make good pitches to put guys away. So, I tried to rectify the situation — but at that point, it was a little too late. I had already given up four runs.”
The Angels were outscored 15-1 during this two-game set, which began with Garrett Richards’ 9-0 loss to NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta. It’s the first time the Cubs have started a season 2-0 since 1995.
“It’s two losses. That’s it. It doesn’t count as three losses if we lost by a bunch of runs,” Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia said. “We just didn’t do anything in the batter’s box these last two games.
“If you look up the definition of a small sample in the dictionary, you’re going to find these two games are a small sample,” Scioscia added. “We didn’t give ourselves much of a chance on the offensive side, and we didn’t get as much done on the mound as we needed to.”
Cubs leadoff batter Dexter Fowler made it 6-1 in the seventh, hitting a 3-0 pitch from Mike Morin for a two-run shot to right, his first homer in 40 career at-bats at Angel Stadium.
Jon Lester (1-0) pitched seven strong innings for the Cubs in his season debut, allowing a run and four hits.
The three-time All-Star, who broke Ken Holtzman’s 1970 Cubs record for strikeouts by a left-hander with 207 last season, fanned four and walked none in his 12th career start against the Angels.
Lester is in the second season of a $155 million, six-year contract. Last year, his first in the National League, he was 11-12 with a 3.34 ERA in 32 starts.
The Angels got their first run of the season in the sixth on a single by Craig Gentry. It drove in Yunel Escobar, who legged out a double down the right-field line — barely avoiding the tag of shortstop Addison Russell after a strong throw by Heyward.
Szczur made his first start of the season in left field — one day after his alma mater, Villanova, won the NCAA men’s basketball championship on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Kris Jenkins.
“Villanova won the national championship, so I thought he was a good bet today,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said. “I just thought it was like absolutely poetic justice, wasn’t it? They won, then he comes up and gets that hit — pretty good night for the ’Cats.”
Angels: RHP Jered Weaver, whose streak of six consecutive opening day starts ended on Monday night because of nerve problems in his neck and shoulder, threw about 60 pitches during a four-inning simulated game. “I thought he made progress, for sure,” Scioscia said. “As he got into his second inning, we saw his velocity start to pick up and I think he threw the ball well. So that’s a good sign. The next step for Jered if he comes out of this OK is a major league game.”
Cubs: RHP John Lackey makes his debut with Chicago on Thursday night against Arizona RHP Rubby De La Rosa in the opener of a four-game series at Chase Field.
Angels: LHP Hector Santiago opposes LHP Derek Holland in the opener of a four-game set with the Texas Rangers at the Big A.