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McCann gets breather; Ross starts behind plate

ATLANTA -- With his bat having cooled off following a torrid stretch, Braves catcher Brian McCann was out of the starting lineup on Sunday to recharge as David Ross caught a day game following a night game.

McCann had gone just 4-for-24 in the homestand, although two of the hits were home runs. Before that, he had hit .309 over a 16-game stretch with seven homers and 16 RBIs. That surge raised his average from .224 to .243.

But McCann was 0-for-8 with five walks over four games after striking out twice and walking twice in Saturday night's 3-2 loss to Houston. That dropped his average back to .236. He had 18 homers and 56 RBIs in 86 games.

Ross took advantage of the opportunity to play Sunday by delivering a solo homer and a single. He also walked, scored three runs and threw out a runner trying to steal.

"Every time we play him, he always seems to come up with a big hit," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Ross has six homers and is batting .290 with 13 RBIs in his 28 starts filling in for McCann.

Gonzalez gave McCann a day off on Sunday, third baseman Chipper Jones started his fifth straight game and ninth on the 10-game homestand. Jones was 2-for-4 and had a run-scoring double that moved him into a tie with Goose Goslin for 31st place on the all-time RBI list with 1,609. The third baseman, who scored the go-ahead run Sunday on a wild pitch in the sixth inning, was 11-for-30 on the homestand.

ATLANTA -- With his bat having cooled off following a torrid stretch, Braves catcher Brian McCann was out of the starting lineup on Sunday to recharge as David Ross caught a day game following a night game.

McCann had gone just 4-for-24 in the homestand, although two of the hits were home runs. Before that, he had hit .309 over a 16-game stretch with seven homers and 16 RBIs. That surge raised his average from .224 to .243.

But McCann was 0-for-8 with five walks over four games after striking out twice and walking twice in Saturday night's 3-2 loss to Houston. That dropped his average back to .236. He had 18 homers and 56 RBIs in 86 games.

Ross took advantage of the opportunity to play Sunday by delivering a solo homer and a single. He also walked, scored three runs and threw out a runner trying to steal.

"Every time we play him, he always seems to come up with a big hit," manager Fredi Gonzalez said.

Ross has six homers and is batting .290 with 13 RBIs in his 28 starts filling in for McCann.

Gonzalez gave McCann a day off on Sunday, third baseman Chipper Jones started his fifth straight game and ninth on the 10-game homestand. Jones was 2-for-4 and had a run-scoring double that moved him into a tie with Goose Goslin for 31st place on the all-time RBI list with 1,609. The third baseman, who scored the go-ahead run Sunday on a wild pitch in the sixth inning, was 11-for-30 on the homestand.