Heyward returns Freeman's favor, homers on Braves 1B's birthday


Freddie Freeman hit a home run for Jason Heyward on his birthday, so Heyward had to return the favor.

“I was thinking it. I didn’t tell him [I would],” Heyward said postgame Saturday.

Freeman and Heyward go way back. Both debuted with the Braves in 2010 and were teammates in Atlanta through 2014. So when Heyward turned 31 on Aug. 9, the Braves first baseman told him he’d go yard for him.

Sure enough, Freeman hit a home run in Game 2 of a doubleheader with the Phillies on Heyward’s birthday. 

Freeman turned 31 on Saturday and Heyward helped him celebrate with a clutch go-ahead, three-run ninth inning homer off Brewers closer Josh Hader. It sparked the Cubs in a comeback 4-2 win over Milwaukee, matching what Freeman did last month.

But did Heyward tell Freeman he planned to do the same for him?

“I didn’t tell him,” the Cubs right fielder said. “I didn’t tell him I was going to hit a homer, but it’s nice to hit one on his and return the favor.”

Heyward may not have guaranteed his long ball, but he planned to get in contact with Freeman after Saturday’s Cubs win.

“He already texted me. I know 100 percent he texted me,” Heyward said, smiling. “So, I’m definitely going to text him and let him know, ‘There you go. Happy 31st.’”

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