April 21, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Jason Heyward (22) looks on from the dugout against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the fifth inning at PNC Park. The Pittsburgh Pirates won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
LAWRENCEVILLE -- In a season-high day for the Gwinnett Braves offense, Jason Heyward was one of two to not get in on the offensive action.
In his first game since going on the disabled list following an appendectomy, Heyward went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, a groundout, popout and a four-pitch walk.
"It felt good to be back out there, it felt weird to be back out there," Heyward said. "Literally sitting down for two weeks is not the ideal thing to do during the season, obviously."
His first two strikeouts were called. He didn't take too many swings against Steven Wright, a knuckleballer, or the two Pawtucket relief pitchers he faced. The most action the 23-year-old got was going first to third on a single.
"Visually, you are just trying to get accustomed to seeing the ball again," Heyward said. "I did feel better from at-bat to at-bat. You got a lot on your mind."
Heyward said he plans to DH again today in Scranton and would like to be in the field sometime before rejoining the big-league team. Nothing bothered him physically during the game, but he said he was interested to see how he felt later in the day and when he woke up. He would not give a timetable on a return or even a sense of how close he felt he was to returning. He is eligible to return at any time.
"I just felt like I hadn't done it," Heyward said. "It felt like the first time for everything again.
"I just have to get back to doing more and more and more."
Heyward was one of just two in the Gwinnett lineup not to record a hit, but with nine runs Thursday morning, the G-Braves set a new season high for runs scored. The pitching also set a new high.
In a day that included three home runs and four doubles, the Pawtucket Red Sox completed the four-game sweep of the G-Braves with a 14-9 win, handing Gwinnett it's 12th straight loss.
"We had some opportunities to cash in and get back in the game with less than two outs," manager Randy Ready said, noting the recent struggles of the offense. "Those easy RBIs are the ones we really have to take advantage of."
In the loss, the nine runs showed some life in an offense that has scored more than one run just twice in the last seven. The G-Braves last scored more than three runs on April 24.
The explosion at the plate included multi-hit games from three players, including Paul Janish who went 3-for-5 with two doubles, a run scored and he reached base on an error in the ninth. The multiple hits were the first for the rehabbing major leaguer since Aug. 31 against the Philadelphia Phillies, it was his first three-hit games since Aug. 17 last season against the Dodgers. The last time Janish hit two doubles in a game was in 2011 with the Cincinnati Reds against the Houston Astros.
Alden Carrithers, moved to the No. 3 spot in the order, also had three hits, was hit by a pitch and walked. The .390-hitting 28-year-old scored a pair of runs and reached base in every at-bat. Matt Kennelly homered and drove in four runs.
"I enjoy being here and I have done well at most levels," said Carrithers, who has split time this season between Class AA Mississippi and Gwinnett. "I am just trying to prove myself once again."
But the hot bats couldn't cover the struggles on the mound.
Roman Colon, forced into another spot start to fill the whole opened by Sean Gilmartin's skipped start on Wednesday, turned in his expected three innings but didn't slow the league's top offense. The 33-year-old allowed five runs off six hits, striking out just two. His ERA jumped from 3.38 to 7.15. Cole McCurry followed and lasted just one inning, allowing five more runs off six hits. Ryan Buchter pitched a clean fifth, but gave up a two-run homer to Brandon Snyder in the sixth.
"We are a little thin right now," Ready said. "We have to piece it together the best we can."
Andrew Russell pitched two perfect innings and Wirfin Obisbo allowed two runs in his ninth inning. It was the first time Russell's pitched two complete, and scoreless, innings since April 15.
"That was the best he's pitched in a while," Ready said. "That's the guy we're expecting Russ to be. He attacked the strike zone and mixed all the pitches in for strikes today."
Notes: Sean Gilmartin, who missed his last scheduled start Wednesday, is expected to pitch May 14 barring any setback with his sore shoulder. ... Fellow starter David Hale threw a 25-pitch bullpen session Thursday and will return to Florida to pitch in extended spring training games before returning to the G-Braves.