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Andrew Heaney gets closer to returning to Dodgers

5-inning rehab start in Peoria on Thursday

Cincinnati Reds v Los Angeles Dodgers Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

Andrew Heaney’s 2022 season has come in fits and starts, with two long stints on the injured list with shoulder inflammation. But the left-hander moved a step closer to a possible return to the Dodgers on Thursday night, with five innings in the rookie-level Arizona Complex League.

Heaney struck out eight against the ACL Mariners in Peoria, allowing a pair of solo home runs in his five innings, and worked around three other singles.

That came after allowing four runs in 2⅔ innings last Saturday in Low-A Rancho Cucamonga, matching the total runs he allowed in his previous six starts, both in the majors and on his first minor league rehab assignment.

Manager Dave Roberts told reporters at Dodger Stadium before Thursday’s Dodgers-Giants game that Heaney could be back with the Dodgers very soon.

“After that, if it goes well, he’ll join us for the next turn,” Roberts said, per SportsNet LA.

Heaney faced 19 batters in Peoria.

In three major league starts this season, Heaney has allowed three runs, one of them earned, in 15⅓ innings, with 23 strikeouts and four walks. But the last of those starts came on June 19. He landed on the injured list five days later, for the second time this season.

Heaney also missed 53 games earlier this season with shoulder issues, from April to June.

Heaney pitching Thursday lines him up with Mitch White, who started for the Dodgers in the series opener against the Giants. That probably wasn’t by coincidence. If Heaney’s next start is in fact next Tuesday against the Nationals, that would mean his latest IL stint will have lasted 27 games.