ATLANTA - The Atlanta Braves, who were the only team in the majors without an interleague win prior to Friday, now have their first series victory against the American League.
Jason Heyward homered and made two highlight catches in right field as the Braves came from behind for a 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday night before a crowd of 29,320 at Turner Field.
Rookie second baseman Tommy LaStella, who had three hits, capped a lead-changing sixth inning with a two-run double off tiring Angels starter Hector Santiago, and Heyward hit his eighth homer of the season in the seventh.
Atlanta's second victory to cap the three-game series gave the Braves (36-32) a one-game lead over Washington and Miami in the National League East, while the Angels (37-31) fell 4 1/2 games behind Oakland in the American League West.
Mike Trout had a homer and three single for the Angels, but might have had five hits had it not been for Heyward. The Atlanta right fielder made a diving catch to rob the Angels center fielder and also raced back to the fence for another drive.
After getting just one runner to second base in five innings against Santiago (0-7), the Braves finally broke through in the sixth. The left-hander gave up a walk and three consecutive singles after one out, with a hit by left fielder Justin Upton driving in the first run.
Then reliever Kevin Jepsen was greeted with an RBI single by third baseman Chris Johnson and a two-run double by LaStella as the Braves took a 4-3 lead.
Santiago, who had pitched six scoreless innings in a no-decision on Tuesday against Oakland, was charged with the four runs. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four in his 5 1/3 innings.
Cam Bedrosian gave up Heyward's homer on a 1-1 changeup and threw a wild pitch for the second run in the seventh. Then Dane De La Rosa surrendered a run in the eighth on a sacrifice fly by pinch-hitter Ryan Doumit.
Anthony Varvaro (2-1) got credit for the victory, striking three over perfect sixth and seventh innings. Jordan Walden retired the Angels in order in the eighth with two strikeouts, and after David Carpenter gave up a single to Trout and hit first baseman Albert Pujols, closer Craig Kimbrel recorded two straight strikeouts for his 20th save in 23 chances.
Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, who had to leave the game later with a sore left hip, picked on a grooved 2-0 fastball from Braves left-hander Mike Minor and lined his fifth homer of the season into the left field seats leading off the second inning.
Trout, who has an 18-game interleague hitting streak, took advantage of a hanging 1-1 breaking ball to lead off the third inning with a no-doubt blast to left field for his 14th long ball of the season.
The homers were the eighth and ninth allowed by Minor in nine starts this year. The Angels added a second third-inning run on an RBI single by second baseman Howie Kendrick to go up 3-0.
Minor allowed 11 hits while laboring through five innings after giving up 11 hits and eight runs over four innings in a loss at Colorado last Tuesday. The left-hander struck out six and walked one as the Angels left nine runners on base against him.
NOTES: Angels RHP Fernando Salas, who pitched two scoreless innings to get the victory in Saturday night's 13-inning game, was placed on the 15-day disabled list because of nerve irritation in his arm. RHP Dane De La Rosa was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake. He pitched once for Los Angeles in April before going on the disabled list because of a forearm strain and a shoulder impingement. ... Manager Mike Scioscia rejoined the Angels after missing Saturday's game to attend the funeral of former Los Angeles Dodgers teammate Bob Welch in Arizona. ... Bench coach Dino Ebel filled in for Scioscia on Saturday, and he is 3-0 at the helm this season. ... The weekend interleague series was just the second for the Angels in Atlanta. They took two of three games in 2005. ... The Angels begin a four-game series against the Indians in Cleveland on Monday night, while the Braves open a three-game home series against the Philadelphia Phillies.