Shoulder feeling better, Heyward back in lineup

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez opted not to take any chances when Jason Heyward arrived at Champion Stadium on Monday morning and revealed his right shoulder was a little sore and tight.

But after missing Monday's game against the Nationals, Heyward was back in the Braves starting lineup for Tuesday afternoon's game against the Cardinals. The 23-year-old right fielder started to feel some shoulder discomfort after diving headfirst to make a catch on Sunday.

Heyward went 1-for-2 with a double before exiting Tuesday's 12-3 win after the third inning. Gonzalez removed each of his starting outfielders at that point because they are scheduled to play in four consecutive games through Thursday.

"Today feels even better than it did yesterday," Heyward said Tuesday. "I could have played yesterday. We were just making sure."

After receiving treatment on Monday, Heyward took batting practice without experiencing any problems. When he returned to the ballpark on Tuesday morning, he once again took some swings and was pain-free.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.