Braves catcher Brian McCann was out of the starting lineup for the fourth straight game Sunday in the series finale against Pittsburgh. However, manager Bobby Cox said McCann would be back behind the plate on Monday when Atlanta opens a three-game series against Philadelphia.
“He could have played [Saturday], he could have played [Sunday],” Cox said. “This is the smart thing to do.”
McCann suffered a strained right quadriceps last week against Florida. Also out of the starting lineup on Sunday was Chipper Jones. Omar Infante replaced Jones at third base.
“I gave him a day off,” Cox said. “Plus, Infante has got to get in there.”
Infanted batted second and Jason Heyward moved down to hit third.
McCann and Jones didn’t stay on the bench. Both had key at-bats in the eighth inning when the Braves broke open a 2-2 game. McCann drew a one-out walk and Jones, batting for Infante, delivered the game-winning hit – a two-out bloop single to left field to score Nate McLouth. Heyward followed with a two-run triple.
“When you rest people, you have a lot of weapons on the bench,” Cox said after the game. “It could be in the fifth or sixth inning. A lot of people don’t look at it that way. I’ve always talked to other managers about resting guys. I tell them what a plus it can be to give a guy a little bit of a rest and, if you need them, you have all these weapons sitting on the bench ready to go.”