Kawakami (shoulder) lands on Double-A DL

LOS ANGELES — The bad news continued for demoted Braves pitcher Kenshin Kawakami, who was placed on Double-A Mississippi’s seven-day disabled list Wednesday with a strained right shoulder.

The move came three days after the Japanese veteran allowed six earned runs in five innings Sunday in his second start for the affiliate in Pearl, Miss.

Dropped from the Braves’ 40-man roster in November, Kawakami has allowed 15 hits, nine earned runs and three homers in 10 2/3 innings of two Double-A starts.

Braves general manager Frank Wren said Wednesday that Kawakami would see the doctor within the next day and that the injury wasn’t believed to be serious.

Hopes the Braves had of trading the 36-year-old pitcher and a significant portion of his $6.67 million salary have presumably diminished for now. Kawakami was two weeks late for spring training because of visa issues getting out of Japan. That put him behind schedule and limited the opportunities to showcase him.

Now, the shoulder. Kawakami has dealt with periodic shoulder soreness for years.

He signed a three-year, $23 million free-agent contract with the Braves after the 2008 season, and it has not worked out. Kakawami has an 8-22 record and 4.32 ERA in 50 major-league games, including 1-10 with a 5.51 ERA in 2010.

He was dropped from the roster after the season.

Heyward slump

During a Jason Heyward 10-game slump last April, then-manager Bobby Cox benched him for one game and said he wanted the young slugger to be more aggressive and stop taking so many close pitches for strikes.

Now Heyward is in the midst of a mild slump, and new manager Fredi Gonzalez wants him to be more patient.

Heyward was 7-for-42 (.167) in his past 12 games before Wednesday, with two homers, two RBIs, five walks, six strikeouts and a .255 on-base percentage and .381 slugging percentage.

“Here’s a guy with a lot of patience, who gets walks and everything, and it seems like he’s been making outs and swinging at balls early in counts,” Gonzalez said Wednesday. “I just told him to be patient. But that’s usually what happens when guys are going bad, they’re swinging at pitches out of the strike zone and making quick outs.”

For the season, Heyward was 2-for-16 with runners on base, with five walks and four strikeouts. After getting behind 0-1 in counts, he was 4-for-24 with two walks and a .231 OBP. With two strikes, he was 3-for-25.

Hinske’s two-hit pinch inning

Eric Hinske hit a two-run pinch-hit homer in the Braves’ eight-run ninth inning Tuesday, then added an RBI single later in the inning. It was the second time in his career that Hinske had two hits in an inning after entering as a pinch-hitter, and the first time a Braves hitter did it since Julio Franco in 2004 against the Mets.

In such cases, scoring rules state that a hitter is not considered a pinch-hitter in his second time up. Therefore, Hinske was credited with only one pinch hit and one pinch-hit plate appearance.

Brooks Conrad had snapped the Braves’ 0-for-25 start by pinch-hitters with a single in the seventh inning Tuesday. Hinske’s homer accounted for the team’s first pinch-hit RBIs.

Last season, Braves pinch-hitters led the NL with 42 pinch-hit RBIs, tied for first with 10 pinch-hit homers, and ranked third with a .250 average.