Heyward drove in four runs overall in front of 53,081 fans, the largest opening-day crowd in the history of Turner Field.
Atlanta scored six times in the first inning to make up an early three-run deficit. The last three Atlanta runs in the opening inning came from Heyward's homer.
He drove in another run with a ninth-inning single and became the fifth member of the Braves to hit a homer in his first big league at-bat.
Yunel Escobar had five RBI for Atlanta, two of them with a first-inning single and three of them with a seventh-inning double.
Derek Lowe gave up five runs on five hits in six innings, but still picked up his second straight opening-day victory.
Carlos Zambrano was able to retire only four batters while giving up eight runs on six hits with two walks. He started on opening day for the sixth straight season.