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Braves bench McCann for playoff game

The SportsXchange

Veteran Atlanta catcher Brian McCann won't be in the starting lineup for the Braves' one-game playoff against St. Louis on Friday.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez announced Thursday that David Ross will start behind the plate. Gonzalez said the decision was difficult but that McCann has been bothered by a shoulder injury.

"I've been thinking about this for three or four days," Gonzalez told MLB.com. "Mac is a very important part of our team. He is a warrior. He battles.

"In the one-game series, you go with Rossy. In the longer series, [McCann] is going to play. He's not that banged up that he's not going to play."

McCann, a six-time All-Star, has battled shoulder soreness and has hit only .201 since Aug. 1 with two home runs.

"It's one of those things where you feel [Ross] gives you a good chance to win a ballgame," Gonzalez said. "Defensively, we know how well he can throw people out. The Cardinals have a tendency to put people in motion a lot. With the combination of Rossy and [starting pitcher Kris] Medlen, maybe we have an opportunity to shut that down a little bit."

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