Heyward delivers as pinch hitter

WASHINGTON -- Rookie slugger Jason Heyward was out of the Atlanta Braves' starting lineup against the Washington Nationals on Thursday night because of a sore right groin, but he delivered a game-tying, two-run single as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning.

Heyward's hit came off reliever Tyler Clippard with one out, the bases loaded, and Atlanta trailing 2-0.

Heyward then was replaced by a pinch runner. The outfielder left Wednesday night's game in the second inning because of his injury.

Braves manager Bobby Cox said Thursday that he isn't sure how long Heyward might be sidelined but added that he could be back in the starting lineup during Atlanta's series against the Philadelphia Phillies that begins Friday.