The next rung up the ladder proved no more difficult than the one below it for Marlins prospect Andrew Heaney, who turned in six scoreless innings in his debut Thursday night for Double A Jacksonville. (Read story here.)
Heaney, the Marlins' first-round draft pick in 2012, extended his streak of consecutive scoreless innings to 33 consecutive with Thursday's performance. The left-hander closed out his stay at Single A Jupiter on a 27-inning scoreless streak before receiving his promotion papers on Wednesday.
To put Heaney's streak in some perspective, Josh Beckett delivered 30 consecutive scoreless innings for Single A Brevard County in 2001 when he was working his way up the Marlins' organizational ladder. The Marlins' big-league record for consecutive scoreless innings by a starter is 29, held by Javier Vazquez.
Heaney on Thursday held Chattanooga to three hits, walked one, struck out three, and threw 79 pitches -- 55 for strikes -- before being lifted after six. His performance follows by one day Justin Nicolino's first win for Jacksonville. The Marlins acquired Nicolino in the Toronto Blue Jays trade last November.
"I would say our pitching staff is as good as any in Double-A baseball right now," Suns manager Andy Barkett told the Florida Times-Union.
The Suns staff also includes Anthony DeSclafani, who was also acquired in the trade with Toronto.