Heaney flirts with perfection before losing

Heaney flirts with perfection before losing

Marlins No. 1 prospect Andrew Heaney took a perfect game into the seventh inning Tuesday for Triple-A New Orleans, only to see his bid for history quickly unravel. He ultimately took the loss as Iowa defeated New Orleans, 1-0.

Heaney, ranked No. 24 on MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list, retired the first 18 batters. He struck out seven of them and allowed only three balls to leave the infield.

But Heaney's perfect game came to an end when Matt Szczur led off the seventh inning with a single. Brett Jackson followed with another single before Heaney whiffed top Cubs prospect Javier Baez. He then issued back-to-back walks, forcing home what proved to be the winning run. A double play helped him escape the jam, but the damage had been done.

In seven innings, Heaney struck out eight, walked two and gave up two hits. He threw 86 pitches and, despite his excellent start to the game, has now lost his last five decisions.

Tuesday was Heaney's third start since returning to New Orleans after a brief stint with the Marlins. In 16 games in the Minor Leagues this season, he is 7-4 with a 2.89 ERA. He has struck out 95 batters and walked 20 in 90 1/3 innings.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter