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Braves promote Pastornicky after Heyward's appendectomy

The Atlanta Braves called up Tyler Pastornicky from Gwinnett on Tuesday after Jason Heyward underwent an appendectomy Monday in Denver.

Heyward had begun feeling discomfort in Pittsburgh over the weekend and was sent to the hospital from his hotel room before the Braves' game with Colorado was snowed out. The appendix had not burst and was removed successfully with a laparoscopic procedure.

Heyward was placed on the 15-day disabled list to make room for Pastornicky and is expected to be able to return to the lineup at the end of that time.

Reed Johnson will take over for Heyward in right field, backed up by Jordan Schafer. But Pastornicky may see time in the outfield as well in addition to serving as an infield backup.

Pastornicky, who started last season as the Braves' regular shortstop, was hitting .351 with six doubles, a homer and seven RBIs in 18 games with the G-Braves while playing mainly second base of late.

Heyward was off to an awful start to the season, posting a .121 batting average and .519 OPS in 17 games. He was 1-for-11 in the first three games of the series in Pittsburgh before sitting out Sunday's finale.

Heyward was 2-for-4 for a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored in the second game of the season against Philadelphia. But he was 5-for-53 with two extra-base hits and three RBIs since, enduring a 0-for-23 streak at one point.

In the past, Heyward's struggles had been mostly against left-handed pitchers. But he was at .120 against lefties and .121 against righties -- consistency no one wants.

Gwinnett, which opened a four-game series at Louisville on Tuesday night, received infielder Luis Nunez from Class AA Mississippi to take Pastornicky's roster spot.