Heaney rolls with ‘needed’ confidence boost 

MINNEAPOLIS — Angels lefty Andrew Heaney bounced back after a stretch of five straight rough starts, as he threw seven strong innings against the Twins in the series opener on Thursday.

Heaney, who had posted an 8.49 ERA over his previous five outings, gave up two runs on four hits and two walks in leading the Angels to a 3-2 win at Target Field. Heaney set a season high for innings and retired the last 11 batters he faced.

He said he had to use an interesting self-motivation technique in between innings to get himself back on track.

“It’s hard to go through pitching the way I was before, obviously you start to look at things and question a lot of things, and lose confidence,” Heaney said. “It can be difficult, so every time I came off the mound, I just kept telling myself, ‘I’m a good [expletive] player.’ And I had to keep doing that because sometimes you don’t feel like that.”

Heaney’s outing helped the Halos snap a three-game losing streak, as they had lost four out of five to the Mariners and A’s to open the second half of the season. The win could help the Angels avoid being sellers at the Trade Deadline, but if they do sell, Heaney could be a trade target himself, as he’s set to be a free agent after the season. But even with his solid showing against Minnesota, Heaney has…

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