Pujols hits first spring homer as Angels battle back vs. Dodgers

Heaney gives up six runs in 3 1/3 innings in rough start

Pujols hits first spring homer as Angels battle back vs. Dodgers

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Starters Brett Anderson for the Dodgers and Andrew Heaney for the Angels were both roughed up early, and both lineups inflicted plenty of damage, including a five-run Dodgers' second inning as Los Angeles clubs played to a 7-7 tie Thursday in front of 13,086 fans at Camelback Ranch.

Albert Pujols put the Angels on the board early with a solo homer in the first inning -- his first of the spring. After watching the Dodgers take the lead with their second-inning spree, the Angels plated a pair of runs each in the second, sixth and ninth.


Heaney struggles: Heaney looks like the front-runner to lock down the fifth spot of the Angels rotation, but the 23-year-old left-hander gave up six runs on seven hits and a walk in 3 1/3 innings against the Dodgers -- a team he joined for only a few minutes before they used him to acquire Howie Kendrick. Five of those runs came in the second inning.

Anderson exits early: Anderson's afternoon was over almost as soon as it began, as he was knocked around for three runs on seven hits in just 1 2/3 innings. The right- hander fell victim to a high pitch-count with multiple 3-2 counts early and served up a solo homer to Pujols.

It was Anderson's third outing of the spring since returning to action after undergoing back surgery last August. He didn't allow a run in either of his first two appearances.

Trout, Pujols stay hot: Pujols' first home run of the spring was a titanic blast to left-center field. He added an RBI single in the second. Mike Trout notched his 13th hit and drove in his 11th run in 22 at-bats with an RBI single earlier in the second inning. The Angels' two superstars are batting a combined .426 this spring (23-for-54).

Trout's RBI single

Guerrero goes deep: Alex Guerrero sparked the Dodgers five-run second inning with a three-run homer to left, handing his club an early 4-3 lead. The 28-year-old has been hot at the plate this spring, batting .400 (10-for-25) with two homers and six RBIs.

Guerrero's three-run blast

Ninth-inning draw: After trailing for much of the afternoon, the Angels rallied for two runs in the top of the ninth to seal a tie. With runners at the corners and one out, Marc Krauss brought one run home with a sacrifice fly, and Carlos Perez doubled in another to even the game. The Dodgers then went down in order against Angels reliever Ryan Mattheus.


• Guerrero continued to impress with his second home run of the spring. Guerrero's contract with the Dodgers dictates he can't be sent to the Minors beyond 2014 without signing off on it himself, but if he keeps up his recent performance and earns a place on the big league roster, that stipulation may not even come into play this year.

• Relievers Chris Hatcher and Joel Peralta also turned in solid performances Thursday with one scoreless inning each. Peralta issued one walk in an otherwise clean frame, and Hatcher retired all three batters he faced, striking out two. Both are jockeying for positions in a Dodgers bullpen that remains in flux, with Hatcher a likely candidate for the interim closer role in Kenley Jansen's absence and Peralta a potential setup man.


"Out of the three starts I've made, today was the best I've felt stuff-wise, by far. Yeah, it's a little frustrating to feel like I have my best stuff and have the results turn out like that, but we'll see what happens in five days."
-- Heaney, on his pitching line

"It was terrible by all standards, but better to get it out of the way now. I don't feel too bad about it considering I'm not too far off from where I was the first couple outings."
-- Anderson said of his performance


• Angels leadoff hitter Kole Calhoun notched his second straight three-hit game on Thursday, lifting his Cactus League batting average from .200 to .357.

Calhoun's RBI single


Joe Smith threw a 1-2-3 inning in his second Cactus League appearance for the Angels. The veteran setup man was delayed because of lingering tightness in his lower body, but said he only needs eight outings to feel ready for the regular season.


Hector Santiago will make his fourth spring start when the Angels travel to Goodyear, Ariz., to face the Indians at 7:05 p.m. PT on Friday, accounting for the only night game on their Cactus League schedule. Santiago, who has given up five runs in 7 2/3 Cactus League innings, exited his last start after taking a comebacker to the inside of his left forearm. But the 27-year-old left-hander is fine. The Angels had an off-day Wednesday and the everyday guys have been playing back-to-back games all spring, so expect the big names to travel. MLB.TV and Fox Sports West will carry the game.

The Dodgers split up Friday for games against the A's and Rangers. Ace Clayton Kershaw takes the mound in Mesa, Ariz., for his fourth outing of the spring in an afternoon matchup with Oakland at 1:05 PT. And in San Antonio, the Dodgers play the first of two games against the Rangers at the Alamodome at 5:05 PT. Zack Greinke is slated to start the evening contest. He'll be joined in Texas by regulars Adrian Gonzalez and Yasiel Puig. Both games will stream live on MLB.TV.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.