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Heyward remains confident after early slump

MLB.com

ATLANTA -- When Jason Heyward ended Tuesday's night's loss to the Mets by seeing his potential game-tying grand slam fall less than 10 feet shy of the center-field wall, he did not look like a guy who had gone hitless in his past 22 at-bats.

Instead, Heyward elicited a sense of confidence that only strengthened as he doubled his season hit total to six with a three-hit performance in Wednesday night's win over the Mets. The Braves' leadoff hitter entered Thursday night hitting .188 (6-for-32) through this season's first eight games.

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ATLANTA -- When Jason Heyward ended Tuesday's night's loss to the Mets by seeing his potential game-tying grand slam fall less than 10 feet shy of the center-field wall, he did not look like a guy who had gone hitless in his past 22 at-bats.

Instead, Heyward elicited a sense of confidence that only strengthened as he doubled his season hit total to six with a three-hit performance in Wednesday night's win over the Mets. The Braves' leadoff hitter entered Thursday night hitting .188 (6-for-32) through this season's first eight games.

Full Game Coverage

"That's not the way you want to start off, but that's the way I started off," Heyward said. "But the good thing is I know what I can do. You just have to stay on the field to get enough reps."

Some of Heyward's early struggles could be blamed on the neck strain he sustained during the first inning of Saturday night's game against the Nationals. As he went hitless during the 10 at-bats he compiled during the final two games of this past weekend's series in Washington, he battled discomfort and a headache caused by the strain.

"I don't talk much about that, but headaches are headaches," Heyward said.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Atlanta Braves