The rookie delivered in the clutch again Wednesday night, connecting for a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the ninth to lift the Braves to a 5-4 win over the Cincinnati Reds.
The double, which was Heyward’s third hit of the night, drove home Martin Prado from first base after he had reached on a two-out single.
The ninth-inning heroics by the rookie enabled the Braves to even their record at 20-20. Heyward finished 3-for-5 with two doubles and a triple.
The Braves were leading 4-0 at the end of the seventh inning before the Reds rallied for three runs in the eighth and another in the ninth to tie it and set the stage for Heyward’s dramatic hit.
When the winning run scored, the Braves poured out of the dugout, mobbing their young star who keeps coming up with huge hits.
Atlanta starter Kenshin Kawakami threw six scoreless innings of five-hit ball. He finished with five strikeouts and one walk in best outing of the season.
Before Wednesday’s game, Braves manager Bobby Cox said he expects to be without Matt Diaz for at least a month after the outfielder had surgery on his right thumb.
Diaz began having discomfort in the thumb late last season and Cox says he had a splinter from a bat removed. Surgery was performed in Atlanta on Wednesday by team physician Dr. Gary Lourie.
Diaz hit .313 and set career highs with 13 homers and 58 RBIs in 2009.
He entered this season with a .310 career average but was hitting only .178 in 26 games before he was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday.
Eric Hinske has hit .542 with two homers and 10 RBIs in seven starts in left field. He started again against Cincinnati on Wednesday night.