Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Heyward on Center Stage for Cards

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Heyward on Center Stage for Cards

Article excerpt

Throughout the Cardinals' 4-3 win over the Pirates on Tuesday night, every time something big happened, Jason Heyward seemed to be right there.

One time he was lunging, another time leaping, yet another time diving. There was plenty of activity that all worked out well for the Cardinals' right fielder.

"That's the way I'd rather it be," he said after the game. "You don't want to get bored out there. Especially games like this, against good teams. You want to be active and be a part of the game. I'm just glad I could come through a couple times."

Heyward did, going two for four with two runs batted in his sixth multi-RBI game of the season during a win that pushed the Cardinals six games up on the Pirates in the National League Central. He also scored the winning run, coming in from third on Stephen Piscotty's two-out single in the fifth.

"We love the way he's playing the game," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "How hard he's going all the way around, and those little things make a big difference."

The first play of his hectic night came in the bottom of the first. With runners on first and third and one out, he hit a hard grounder to first. Pedro Alvarez made the stop and threw to second for the force and returned to the bag for the double play. First base umpire Ron Kulpa called Heyward out after Alvarez stretched to come up with the throw, but just about everyone felt that Heyward had beaten the throw. It didn't take long, just over a minute, for the replay review to reverse the call. Heyward was safe and the Cardinals had tied the game at 1-1.

"That's a big play," Matheny said. "We don't have replay right there, that's a run. That's a big deal."

"I was pretty sure (I was safe), but you never know," Heyward said. "It's a tough call for the umpire. The game happens fast, he's got to keep up with everything. I was just glad I was able to get down there and get a run home and tie it."

In the third, Pirates right fielder Gregory Polanco hit a long fly ball that, off the bat, looked like it might clear the Cardinals' bullpen. Cards catcher Yadier Molina told Heyward after the inning he thought the ball was in the seats. …

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