Chipper Jones added another highlight on his inspiring farewell tour as made the best of his final swings against the Houston Astros.
Jones had 2 hits in his last 2 at-bats and scored the go-ahead run on a 6th-inning wild pitch, helping the Braves beat the Astros 6-1 Sunday to finish an 8-2 homestand.
The 40-year-old Jones had a run-scoring double in the 7th and is hitting .320 in his last season.
”Chipper is a Hall of Famer,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez declared. ”He could be the best player I’ve ever seen play the game.”
With the score 1-1 in the 6th, Jones singled and took third on singles by Freddie Freeman and Davis Ross. Jones scored on a pitch from Bud Norris (5-9) that sailed over catcher Carlos Corporan’s glove. Paul Janish then singled in 2 runs for a 4-1 lead.
Jones finished .322 with 20 homers in his career against the Houston Astros, who dropped to a major league-worst 36-73.
”It’s a small sad to understand I won’t play the Houstonanymore,” Jones said. ”It’s hard as the Houston Astros were a rival of ours for so long.” Basketball scores
Jones expounded the Astros manager Brad Mills ”whistled at me and related something from the dugout” and 3rd base coach Dave Clark ”came over and said something to me” about his last game against Houston.
Jones has hits in 29 of his last 33 games. He’s hitting well above his career .305 mark, prompting some to ask whether he will reconsider his retirement plans.
Jones has a commitment to retiring and has been honored in some towns, including Houston, where he was presented a cowboy hat in April by previous Houston Astrosstar Craig Biggio.
Jonny Venters (4-3) pitched out of a 2nd-and-3rd, one-out jam in the 6th to win in relief of Kris Medlen, who allowed one run and 5 hits in 5 1-3 innings.
Atlanta stayed 3 games behind 1st-place Washington in the National League East.
”They’re a good ballclub,” Jones claimed of the Nationals. ”We’re going to need to go get them. They’re not going to come back to the pack. All you can do is try and hold serve at home. An 8-2 homestand, we’ll take that any day of the week.”
Medlen, who allowed only 3 hits in his first 5 innings, left after back-to-back singles to Marwin Gonzalez and Brett Wallace with one out in the 6th. Cory Gearrin gave up a tying double to Justin Maxwell.
Venters, who had been rested because of a sore left elbow, entered in his 1st appearance since July 29 and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Downs. After an intentional walk to Steve Pearce that loaded the bases, pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez grounded out.
David Ross homered in the 2nd. Michael Bourn singled in a run in the 8th after Rhiner Cruz walked 2 batters.
Norris gave up only one run and 3 hits through 5 innings before Atlanta’s 3-run 6th.
”I felt good,” Norris said. ”All the ground balls got through. There’s nothing I can do there. I’m making the pitches and unfortunately things did not go my way.”