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Is Jason Heyward’s encouraging start for Cubs a sign of bigger payoff in 2019?

Heyward's second-inning home run Saturday against the Brewers.

MILWAUKEE — After Jason Heyward’s first two-homer game as a Cub on Saturday, manager Joe Maddon said, “Jason’s hitting the ball as well as we’ve seen him.”

To which Heyward responded by quickly pointing out how low he’d set that bar.

“Yeah, I don’t feel like it’s hard to say that,” said the Gold Glove right fielder who has underachieved at the plate since signing the largest contract in franchise history before the 2016 season.

Whether some of the early signs lead to a different-looking year by season’s end, his three home runs against the Brewers in the span of five plate appearances on Friday and Saturday were eye-popping.

He has hit that many in a month only four times as a Cub — the same number of months in which he has hit no homers as a Cub.

“It’s more handsy,” Maddon said of Heyward’s swing in recent days. “There’s less push and more snap in the head of the bat.”

Heyward reached base all five trips to the plate Saturday and became the first Cub in history with multiple stolen bases (two) and multiple homers in the same game. That has happened only 14 times in big-league history.

“It’s good to be part of the offense,” he said.


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He was hitless Sunday with a walk.

“It’s a process, man,” he said.