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Braves claim E. Johnson off waivers from Royals

NEW YORK -- The Braves announced on Wednesday they have claimed infielder Elliot Johnson off waivers from the Royals. Johnson will join Atlanta for its series in St. Louis.

Johnson hit .179 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 79 games for the Royals. The switch-hitter also had 14 stolen bases. Johnson gives the Braves another infielder after Tyler Pastornicky, who was supposed to be Atlanta's second baseman while Dan Uggla is on the disabled list, suffered a season-ending knee injury last Wednesday that required surgery.

"I know he's a good player," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I know we had a chance to get him off waivers. He's a guy that gives us some depth in the infield -- a guy that can steal you a base, switch-hitter."

After Pastornicky sustained his knee injury, Atlanta called up infielder Phil Gosselin from Triple-A Gwinnett. Paul Janish has been starting at second base for the Braves.

Johnson, 29, also spent time in the Major Leagues with the Rays. He played in 123 games for Tampa Bay last season, finishing with a .242 average, six home runs and 33 RBIs.

The Rays traded Johnson in February as the player to be named in the December deal that also sent Wade Davis and James Shields to Kansas City.

The Royals designated Johnson for assignment on Thursday to clear a roster space for Emilio Bonifacio.

Chris Iseman is an associate reporter for
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