Heyward back in action after Fowler's ejection

Heyward back in action after Fowler's ejection

CHICAGO -- Cubs outfielder Jason Heyward, who had not started four straight games because of a sore right wrist, did everything on Thursday as if he was starting in hopes that he could return to the lineup on Friday. However, Dexter Fowler moved up Heyward's return.

Fowler was ejected at the end of the third inning for arguing a called third strike with home-plate umpire Vic Carapazza. Heyward then took over in center field as the Cubs earned a 5-2 win.

Heyward hurt his wrist during the Cubs' series on April 7-10 in Arizona while taking some swings in the batting cage.

"I was doing some work off the tee and doing a drill with a donut on the bat, swinging, trying to stay through the middle, and I put more emphasis on [his wrist] and strained it from that," Heyward said on Thursday. "It's been awhile. I'm not ever going to make excuses one way or the other. I don't like to not play. It just got to the point where I should say something. Now it's good, because I can come in and get treatment."

Heyward went 0-for-17 in four games during the last homestand, and was batting .211 overall. As far as he was concerned, he'll be in the lineup on Friday.

"I'm going to do everything as if I'm playing today," he said of his pregame work on Thursday. "If I have no issues here, you'll see me in there tomorrow."

What's encouraging is that the Cubs went to Pittsburgh and swept a three-game series against the Pirates without Heyward in the lineup.

"To have other people come up and step up is awesome," Heyward said. "I feel those are building blocks for what can make to be a very special season. When people go down and other guys get reps when they don't expect to get reps, they don't take it for granted. To get everybody involved is a good thing."

Carrie Muskat has covered the Cubs since 1987, and for MLB.com since 2001. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.