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Braves put Gattis on 15-day disabled list

ATLANTA -- Freddie Freeman returned from an oblique strain in two weeks earlier this season. The Braves hope that Evan Gattis can do the same.

The rookie slugger strained his side trying to check a swing in the seventh inning of Monday's rain-delayed game and was placed on the 15-day disabled list Tuesday.

Laird, who struck out without taking another swing, caught the final two innings. But Brian McCann would have pinch hit for him in the ninth if Freeman hadn't hit a walk-off two-run homer at 1:22 a.m.

"It just grabbed me on my right side," Gattis said. "I didn't think I could hit again. Catching, I was loose, warming, and (had) adrenaline going."

Gattis, who leads all major league rookies with 14 homers and 37 RBIs, was feeling discomfort from the injury when he got to Turner Field on Tuesday, but was hopeful that he could return when he is eligible on July 3.

"I hope to do whatever I can to get out there as soon as I can," the catcher/outfielder said.

With Gattis sidelined, Brandon Laird will take over as McCann's primary backup.

Gattis was just 1 for 25 in games he started dating back to May 1, but he had continued to flourish as a pinch hitter. He is is 6 for 8 with four homers, a double and two walks in 10 pinch-hit appearances, driving in 11 runs.

With three catchers, Fredi Gonzalez had the luxury of using McCann or Gattis as a prime pinch hitter.

"Yeah, you're going to miss that," the Braves manager said. "You're going to miss that with him or McCann, that flexibility you have with three catchers."

Infielder Tyler Pastronicky was recalled from Gwinnett to take Gattis' place on the roster. He was hitting .309 for the G-Braves.

But the Braves need Gattis back as soon as possible.

"We're hoping it's kind of like Freddie Freeman, that we caught it early enough to kind of calm that down and in 15 days he'll be ready to go," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "From what (trainer Jeff Porter) tells me, if you're a right-handed hitter the right side is better than the left side, it's not as severe."