Andrew Heaney, Angels bounce back from bad start to beat Rangers

  • Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout reaches to catch a ball hit by Texas Rangers’ Isiah Kiner-Falefa for an out during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani, right, celebrates hitting a solo home run with Taylor Ward during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Texas Rangers’ Rougned Odor, left, crosses home plate after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. Rangers’ Nick Solak also scored due to the home run. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Sound

    The gallery will resume inseconds

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani adjusts his helmet before batting during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Texas Rangers’ Rougned Odor, right, celebrates with Nick Solak after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. Solak also scored due to the home run. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani runs to first base after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Texas Rangers’ Leody Taveras, left, celebrates with manager Chris Woodward after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Texas Rangers starting pitcher Lance Lynn throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels designated hitter Shohei Ohtani crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run during the second inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Texas Rangers’ Leody Taveras crosses home plate after hitting a solo home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Andrew Heaney throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Texas Rangers, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • Texas Rangers’ Ronald Guzman, left, and Joey Gallo talk as they leave the field after batting practice before a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels, Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

  • A ball hit by Texas Rangers’ Leody Taveras goes over the fence out of the reach of Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout for a home run during the first inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis)

ANAHEIM — Eight pitches into the game, the night wasn’t looking so good for the Angels.

After allowing three quick runs, Andrew Heaney didn’t give up anything else and the Angels beat the Texas Rangers 4-3, with Mike Trout driving in the go-ahead run and Shohei Ohtani driving in the first with a homer after a week-long layoff.

The Angels have won 11 of their last 16 games, which has kept them with a heartbeat in the race for a playoff spot. But the Houston Astros won on Saturday night so the Angels remain 3-1/2 games back, with just seven games to play.

The game got off to an ugly start for Heaney, who allowed three runs within the first four batters.

And they were loud runs.

Leadoff hitter Leody Tavares hit a homer on the second pitch of the game. Nick Solak ripped a single up the middle. Isiah Kiner-Falefa drilled a ball 103 mph that Mike Trout snagged in center field.

Rougned Odor then blasted a drive 434-foot homer down the right-field line, driving in two more.

Just when it seemed it might be a short night for Heaney, though, he bounced back and did not allow another run through 6-2/3 innings.

He struck out eight and walked one.

Heaney has a 4.02 ERA this season, but his 67 strikeouts and 17 walks in 62-2/3 innings suggest that he’s pitched better than that.

Meanwhile, the Angels got back into the game, starting with a Shohei Ohtani homer in the second.

It was Ohtani’s first at-bat in a week, as they benched him because of his slump and a string of left-handed starters they were facing. Manager Joe Maddon had insisted all through the week that there was nothing wrong with Ohtani, and he simply needed to take a step back and work on his swing.

In Ohtani’s next trip to the plate, in the fifth, he singled and scored on a double by Taylor Ward. Ward came home on a two-out single by David Fletcher, tying the game.

Heaney, Noe Ramirez and Mike Mayers then shut down the Rangers for the rest of the night, sealing the victory.

Mayers retired all six batters he faced. He hasn’t allowed a run in his last 11 games, including retiring 35 of 38 batters in the last eight games.

More to come on this story.

tinyurlis.gdv.gdv.htu.nuclck.ruulvis.netshrtco.detny.im