Lost in the Nationals’ eventual 8-7 win Saturday against the Braves was another big offensive performance from Atlanta’s Jason Heyward.
Heyward, 24, hit a 420-foot solo home run to right-center field in the bottom of the first inning and then tied the game at 7-7 with a 415-foot two-run shot off closer Rafael Soriano in the bottom of the ninth.
He was 2-for-7 with three RBI and two runs scored.
The Braves wound up losing to the Nats in the 15th inning when Adam LaRoche homered to snap the deadlock, but it was Heyward’s sixth straight multi-hit game and he’s now batting .390/.447/.662 with 11 extra-base hits and 23 runs scored over his last 19 contests.
Atlanta currently holds a 14 1/2 game lead in the National League East.
The Cubs’ bullpen got into trouble in the ninth inning on Tuesday afternoon during the first game of a doubleheader. Justin Wilson started the inning with the Cubs leading 3-2, normally a situation for closer Brandon Morrow. Wilson issued a leadoff walk to Austin Barnes, then gave up a single to Justin Turner. Morrow wasn’t warming up, curiously. Wilson ended up giving up a go-ahead two-run double to pinch-hitter Kyle Farmer and the Cubs went on to lose 4-3.
We now know why Morrow wasn’t available. He says his back tightened up taking off his pants early Monday morning, MLB.com’s Carrie Muskat reports. Morrow said, “It’s frustrating any time you can’t get out there, especially when you can’t go for something as stupid as taking your pants off.”
Morrow, 33, has been terrific in the closer’s role this season for the Cubs. He owns a 1.59 ERA with a 25/9 K/BB ratio in 22 2/3 innings. He is also not available for the back end of Tuesday’s doubleheader, but it sounds like he won’t need to go on the disabled list.