TORONTO — After playing all nine games since returning from a three-week stint on the disabled list following an April 22 appendectomy, Jason Heyward was out of the Braves lineup for Monday’s series opener against the Blue Jays.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said it was a good day to give him a one-day rest, since Reed Johnson hits lefties well and was 13-for-71 (.351) against Toronto starter Mark Buehrle.
“Jason’s played every game since he’s been back,” Gonzalez said. “Every game, every inning. And we got (to Toronto) at 4 in the morning. Why not give him a day off? He’ll play tomorrow.”
Heyward was 8-for-34 (.235) with two doubles, three RBIs, six walks, seven strikeouts and .381 OBP since returning. He was hitting .163 with two homers in 92 at-bats for the season, including .143 (5-for-35) against lefties.
“I don’t know what his average has been since he’s been back,” Gonzalez said, “but he’s hit balls hard. He looks good.”
Johnson played his first five seasons for the Blue Jays and had a .291 average with 94 extra-base hits (24 homers) in 307 games at Toronto.
Etc. Reliever Jordan Walden (shoulder) was scheduled to pitch one inning in a rehab game for Triple-A Gwinnett on Monday night at Syracuse, N.Y. Gonzalez said depending upon how Walden felt, he could pitch in one more rehab game Wednesday or be activated from the DL that day… Since Gwinnett is playing so far away in upstate New York, Brandon Beachy will make his next rehab start Wednesday at Class-A Rome. He’s in the final stages of his recovery from “Tommy John” elbow surgery and could be back after three or four more starts in mid-to-late June.