Heyward led off the second inning with a home run off Nationals starter Livan Hernandez (0-1) that made the score 2-0. The Braves had a first-inning rally in which Brian McCann doubled in Chipper Jones for the season's first run.
Atlanta managed just two hits the rest of the way after the Heyward home run but it was enough as Braves starter Derek Lowe (1-0) and the Atlanta bullpen kept Washington, which twice had runners reach third, from scoring.
Lowe pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up three hits and two walks while striking out six. Eric O'Flaherty allowed two hits in an inning of work before Peter Moylan, Jonny Venters and Craig Kimbrel, who got the save, didn't allow a hit over a combined 2 1/3 innings.
Hernandez allowed just four hits and struck out three in 6 1/3 innings.
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]