Desert Dogs ride stellar debut from Marlins' Heaney

Desert Dogs ride stellar debut from Marlins' Heaney

Desert Dogs ride stellar debut from Marlins' Heaney

In his first start for Glendale in the Arizona Fall League, left-hander Andrew Heaney picked up right where he left off this summer.

Heaney, the Marlins' No. 2 prospect, struck out six batters in three scoreless innings against Scottsdale on Friday, leading Glendale to a 5-1 victory at Scottsdale Stadium.

Heaney used his low-90s fastball, slider and changeup to shut down the Scorpions. He said his full complement of pitches felt good.

"I had all three pitches working tonight, which was nice," Heaney said. "It was nice to compete again."

When he's been healthy this year, Heaney has pitched like the Marlins thought he would when they selected him ninth overall in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. A strained lat muscle kept him out until May, but he was one of the Minor League's best pitchers the rest of the season.

Heaney dominated the Florida State League before earning a promotion to Double-A Jacksonville in August. Between the two levels, Heaney posted a 1.60 ERA and struck out 89 batters In 95 1/3 innings.

It was more of the same Friday. Heaney allowed two hits and no walks while tying the early-season, single-game high for strikeouts.

"I threw a couple good changeups, a couple good sliders and my fastball location was good," Heaney said. "It was a solid outing"

The Desert Dogs began the game with three straight hits and a sacrifice fly to take an early 2-0 lead against right-hander Hansel Robles. Right fielder Brandon Jacobs, the White Sox No. 8 prospect, added to the lead in the second inning with his second home run in the AFL, a solo blast.

Second baseman Eddie Rosario, the Twins' No. 5 prospect, drove in two more runs with a two-out single in the fourth inning. He was the only Desert Dog with multiple hits, finishing the night 2-for-4 with a stolen base and three RBIs.

"Obviously, we've got an unbelievable lineup, just like everyone out here," Heaney said.

Scottsdale scored its lone run in the fourth inning after right-hander Zack Jones relieved Heaney. Right fielder Cory Vaughn led off the inning with a triple and then came home on a passed ball by catcher Pratt Maynard. Jones recovered to strike out the next three hitters.

First baseman Angel Villalona went 2-for-4 with a double for Scottsdale. He and designated hitter Cam Maron were the only two Scorpions to reach base more than once. Maron went 1-for-2 with a double and a walk.

Now that he has an AFL start under his belt, Heaney said he hopes to focus on controlling the running game this fall.

"I want to pitch well and have all three pitches working," Heaney said. "But really holding runners and tempo is the big thing."

Teddy Cahill is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @tedcahill. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.