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08/14/11 8:01 PM ET

Braves activate Linebrink; Varvaro sent down

ATLANTA -- The Braves activated reliever Scott Linebrink from the disabled list on Sunday and optioned Anthony Varvaro to Triple-A Gwinnett.

Linebrink was out since July 30 because of a lower back strain. He showed some rust in the sixth inning of a 6-5 loss to the Cubs on Sunday, when he was pressed into duty in relief of Brandon Beachy. Linebrink, who inherited a runner on first base, allowed three consecutive singles, with the final knock scoring two runs. He was pulled without retiring a batter, finishing with two earned runs. For the season, Linebrink has pitched in 51 games before, posting 4-2 record with a 3.38 ERA.

The right-hander took the loss in Cincinnati on July 24 but didn't allow a run over his next four appearances. He has 33 strikeouts to 15 walks in 42 2/3 innings for the year, with opponents batting .273.

Varvaro made seven relief appearances for the Braves after he was promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett and was 0-0 with a 3.00 ERA. The right-hander struck out 16 and walked six in nine innings, allowing seven hits.

Despite the return of catcher Brian McCann from the DL, the Braves kept J.C. Boscan as a third catcher. Boscan is likely to return to Gwinnett when the Braves need to open a spot for Randall Delgado, who will start in place of Tommy Hanson on Tuesday against the Giants.

Hanson shelved with right shoulder tendinitis

ATLANTA -- The Braves were hoping that Tommy Hanson could avoid a second trip to the disabled list. But with his pitching shoulder still sore, the right-hander couldn't.

Randall Delgado will be promoted from Triple-A Gwinnett and will start against the Giants on Tuesday instead of Hanson, who was placed on the DL on Sunday retroactive to Aug. 7.

Hanson, who also spent time on the DL in June with shoulder tendinitis, posted an 8.10 ERA in five starts since the All-Star Game and most recently gave up seven runs with four homers over 3 1/3 innings in a loss to the Mets on Aug. 6.

Hanson, 11-7 with a 3.60 ERA overall, experienced stiffness in his shoulder in that game, and the Braves skipped his regular turn on Friday in hopes that he would be ready to pitch on Tuesday after an MRI indicated that he was once again dealing with tendinitis.

But Hanson hasn't felt well enough to throw a bullpen session.

"I think it's just the right thing to do, give him a breather, give him a little extra time," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "Sometimes, you just have to let that thing rest a little bit."

"It makes sense," said Hanson, who feels that he might have come back too soon the first time. "I'm frustrated. I just want to get healthy."

Delgado, 21, made his Major League debut on June 17, while Hanson was sidelined the first time, and took the loss against the Rangers. The right-hander worked four innings and gave up three earned runs and seven hits while striking out two and walking two.

The native of Panama was recently promoted to Triple-A after going 5-5 with a 3.84 ERA with Double-A Mississippi. He has been dominant in two starts with Gwinnett.

Delgado didn't allow a run in either game, allowing just six hits over 13 innings while striking out 15 and walking five. He worked seven innings at Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Thursday and will be working on his normal four days' rest against the Giants.

"I'm impressed not only that he has 13 scoreless innings, but the way he's gone about it," Gwinnett manager Dave Brundage said. "He's a horse on the mound, pounding that zone."

Julio Teheran, who leads the International League with a 12-2 record and 2.18 ERA, pitched Friday for Gwinnett and wouldn't have been available to pitch on Tuesday. He made two spot starts for the Braves earlier this season.

Jair Jurrjens, 12-4 with a 2.63 ERA, threw a bullpen session on Sunday and is on schedule to come off the DL to start against the Giants on Wednesday. He has been sidelined by a right knee strain.

McCann hitless in return from disabled list

ATLANTA -- Brian McCann returned to the Braves' lineup on Sunday, catching and batting third in a 6-5 loss to the Cubs. He suffered an oblique strain on a July 26 throw to second base, and the Braves were 10-6 in the six-time All-Star's absence.

McCann, who was hitless Sunday in four plate appearances and stranded four runners, played in two rehab games for Triple-A Gwinnett, going 2-for-6 with a homer and RBI single. He was the designated hitter on Friday and caught five innings on Saturday.

While the Cubs did not attempt a steal against McCann on Sunday, throwing was what concerned the catcher prior to the game, and he said he felt fine despite allowing two stolen bases by Pawtucket in as many attempts.

"I wasn't worried about my bat, it was just a matter of being able to throw effectively," McCann said.

Manager Fredi Gonzalez was happy to have McCann back so quickly.

"My experience with an oblique had been a month, so that was what I was expecting," Gonzalez said.

Freddie Freeman was dropped from third to fifth on Sunday in the Braves' lineup, with McCann slotting third, and Chipper Jones was given the day off by Gonzalez.

With Martin Prado playing third base, hot-hitting rookie Jose Constanza moved to left field, and Jason Heyward returned to the lineup in right field after not playing in the first two games against the Cubs.

Guy Curtright is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.