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OC Register: Angels pitcher Andrew Heaney’s love for dogs led him to his first major community event

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ANAHEIM — As Andrew Heaney has gotten deeper into his big league career, to the point that he could start to make an impact in the community, he wanted to find a cause that reflected his passion.

He only had to look down at his black lab, Sadie.

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A couple years of planning later, Heaney is about to host his first charitable event, a 5K run at 9 a.m. Saturday at Bolsa Chica beach. The event benefits the therapy dog program at Children’s Hospital of Orange County. Runners are encouraged to bring their dogs to run too.

“There are only so many places you can take a dog,” Heaney said. “You can’t have a golf event with dogs. You can’t take dogs to a bowling alley. How about the beach? It’s perfect.”

Heaney, who now has Sadie and a year-old puppy named Charlie, said his dogs help him deal with the pressure of the major leagues.

“I take my dogs on a walk every day, especially the days I’m pitching at home,” he said. “It’s a therapeutic thing for me. It really is. It’s a way to kind of relieve stress and get away from everything. Your dog is never mad at you. They think you are the greatest ever, no matter what you did at the yard. They don’t judge  you for that. It’s something that just makes me happy.”


As the Angels’ playoff hopes fade and the focus of many turns to how they can improve by trading for prospects, one trade they made five months ago is already paying dividends.

In the first days of spring training, the Angels traded C.J. Cron to the Tampa Bay Rays for a player to be named. When that player was identified a few weeks later, little was known about middle infielder Luis Rengifo.

Since then, Rengifo has risen from Class-A to Double-A to Triple-A. The 21-year-old has hit over .300 at each stop, with a combined .315 average and exceptional .420 on-base percentage.

“He’s definitely jumped up and made everyone in our organization pay attention to what he’s doing,” Manager Mike Scioscia said this week. “All the markers you look for on the offensive side are there. He’s got the tools you are looking for to have a chance to be an impact player in the major leagues. Experience is going to be needed, but he runs well and plays good defense. He can hit the ball from both sides. He’s got an exciting future.”

The Angels have been desperate to add players to their lineup who get on base, especially hitting in front of Mike Trout. Rengifo and David Fletcher could both be in the mix to start at second base next year, although there is a whole winter for the Angels to make other moves.


Mike Trout was the Angels’ winner for the “Heart and Hustle” award. Each team has one winner selected on the basis of his “passion, desire, and work ethic demonstrated both on and off the field.” One major league winner will be selected from the 30 team winners later this year…

Scioscia said the Angels tried to get answers from Major League Baseball officials on Tuesday about the two balks called on their pitchers on Monday. He said they didn’t get any explanations. Scioscia said he could maybe see the reason for the call on Jaime Barría, but he called Justin Anderson’s balk’s “bizarre.”…

Shohei Ohtani is still playing light catch. Scioscia said “this is stage one and we have to get to stage 10.” Ohtani is attempting to return from a damaged ulnar collateral ligament without having surgery…

Shortstop Kevin Maitan, one of the Angels’ top prospects, has been out of the lineup at rookie-level Orem for 11 days with back stiffness, although he’s expected back soon. The Angels signed Maitan, 18, for $2.2 million last December, after he was released from his deal with the Atlanta Braves because of their violations of international signing rules.


Angels (Tyler Skaggs, 7-6, 2.68) vs. White Sox (James Shields, 4-11, 4.26), 7 p.m., Fox Sports West, KLAA (830 AM).

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