DENVER -- As Brian McCann has spent the past couple of months adjusting to life as a Yankee, Evan Gattis has allowed the Braves to continue benefiting from the presence of one of the game's top offensive catchers.
Most of the value Gattis provided during the season's first two months came courtesy of his tremendous power. But while hitting .383 with five home runs during his current 12-game hitting streak, he has shown he can also provide some consistency at the plate. His batting average has risen, from .240 to .279, during this streak.
"He's a joke," third baseman Chris Johnson said. "He's good. He's awesome. He's so strong. His approach is getting better and better. When he swings at strikes, the ball rarely stays in the ballpark, no matter where we're at."
Gattis lined his 13th home run of the season through the thin Rocky Mountain air during Tuesday night's 13-10 win at Coors Field. He has hit four more homers than any other Major League catcher, and the only catcher to better his .886 OPS has been Milwaukee's Jonathan Lucroy (.912).
In an attempt to keep the 6-foot-4, 250-pound Gattis fresh throughout this season, the Braves are keeping him on a pace to play somewhere between 100 and 110 games.
"He's a big boy, with a big body," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "You can see the difference when you give him a day off, that the next day he's a different guy behind the plate. He moves around more. You can see the rest does him good."
Johnson finding his form at the plate
DENVER -- Third baseman Chris Johnson has not completely distanced himself from the frustration he frequently encountered during the early portion of this season, but over the past week, he has looked more like he did last season, when he finished second in the race for the National League batting title.
Johnson notched a pair of three-hit performances during the first two games of this week's series at Coors Field and entered Wednesday having hit .379 with a .458 BAbip (Batting average balls in play) in his previous seven games. He had an incredible .394 BAbip while hitting .321 last season.
This recent success comes as a result of him halting his struggles against right-handed pitchers. With 11 hits in his past 26 at-bats against righties, he has improved his batting average against them, from .220 to .246. Left-handers have not been a problem, as he has hit .394 against them this season.
"I've been working on a few things," Johnson said. "I'm trying to simplify and keep my bat short. That's worked the past couple of days, but I'm still not where I want to be."
• Justin Upton was in the lineup on Wednesday after exiting Tuesday night's game in the first inning with a strained left hamstring. Upton previously experienced a few hamstring tweaks, but he was never sidelined more than a day or two.
• The official scorer changed a ruling from Monday night's game, giving Jason Heyward a single on a sharp grounder that he sent past Troy Tulowitzki in the first inning. Tulowitzki was originally charged with an error.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.