St. Louis -- Jason Heyward’s seventh-inning homer Thursday off lefty Dennys Reyes snapped a pair of homerless streaks, one by Braves hitters and the other by Cardinals pitchers.
Heyward’s team-high fifth homer was the first for the Braves during their nine-game losing streak, and the first of the season against a Cardinals pitcher at Busch Stadium.
St. Louis pitchers worked 98 home innings before giving up a long ball, the first team to go that long without giving up a homer at home since the 1972 Chicago White Sox, who also allowed their first in their 99th inning.
Heyward had been 1-for-20 with eight strikeouts and no RBI in his past eight games before going 2-for-4 on Thursday. Though he’s only 5-for-24 (.208) against lefties, two of the hits were home runs.
After Heyward struck out on a called third strike with the bases loaded in Tuesday’s loss against the Cardinals, manager Bobby Cox said the prized rookie needed to stop taking so many pitches and be a little more aggressive.
Heyward was out of the lineup for the first time all season on Wednesday, to give him a breather against a lefty (Jesse Garcia) and a chance to rest a sore shin that he’s played on since late in spring training.
His hits Thursday came on his first swing of each at-bat — a single on a 2-and-1 change-up from Adam Wainwright to start the third inning, and the homer on a 1-and-1 slider from Reyes.
“He still is particular what he hits,” Cox said. The home run came on a one-strike, one-ball count. Wasn’t two strikes. And the base hit he didn’t have two strikes, so….”