Chris Heisey figures the best way to stay healthy is to keep hitting home runs. He didn’t worry at all about the hamstring injury that kept him out for about two months as he rounded the bases Wednesday night.
“The more home runs the better,” he said. “It takes a little pressure off not running full speed.”
Heisey picked a good time to hit his first home run since April 4. His solo shot in the sixth tied the game at 2-2 on a night the Reds struggled to get the big hit. Cincinnati left 11 runners on base before Shin-Soo Choo singled to right in the 11th to score Todd Frazier with the winning run in a 3-2 victory at Great American Ball Park.
“That was the biggest part about it,” Heisey said. “It tied the game, and we ended up going to extra innings and winning the game. Obviously, as a player, hitting home runs is always good, but when they come in a loss, it doesn’t mean as much.”
Heisey also drove in the Reds’ first run with a sacrifice fly in the second. He just missed a three-run home run to left on that at-bat, but the ball sailed foul by a few feet.
The home run he did hit in the sixth was a no-doubt bomb.
“It felt good off the bat,” Heisey said. “Just a breaking ball down in the zone. Sometimes those breaking balls, you’ve just got to touch the ball, get it on the sweet spot, and they end up going pretty far.”
Heisey played all 11 innings in his first start in left field since his return to the disabled list last week. He started two games at designated hitter on the road trip.
“It felt good,” Heisey said. “I caught a ball against the fence. Other than that, I didn’t have a ton of action out there. Everything’s still feeling well. It was good to contribute to the win.
“In my rehab games, I played in four or five games (in the field). It was definitely good to be back in left field at home, but I’ve been out there enough so far in my life, so it wasn’t too big of a deal.”
Reds manager Dusty Baker didn’t plan to play Heisey on Thursday, and as it turned out, no one got to play. The final game of the three-game series was postponed by rain.
Baker wanted to see how Heisey looked a day after playing 11 innings.
“I had my eye on him the whole time to see if he was limping,” Baker said. “When you get hurt again, it’s when you get fatigued, so we had our eye on him. We’ll break him in slowly. I told him, ‘You just can’t come in and take all the time away from the other guys.’
It would have been different if he had been killing it when he left, but he looks better than when he left. It gave him time to get his head together.”
Mariners at Reds, 7:10 p.m., FS Ohio, 700, 1410