Braves' Jones plays vs. Nats despite sore quadriceps
ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones didn't want to consider a day off. Not the way the Braves were playing -- and he was hitting.
One day after leaving a game with an ailing right quadriceps, the Atlanta Braves third baseman was back in the lineup for the opener of a two-game series against the Washington Nationals on Monday night.
"I don't want to, because we're rolling pretty good," said Jones, pointing to Atlanta's four-game winning streak before the Nationals came to town. "I can still go up there and hit. That's not a problem. My presence out there is, I think, worth not taking a day off at this point."
Jones extended his hitting streak to 13 in the Braves' 7-3 win, going 1-for-3 with an RBI. He leads the league in hitting at .453, is tied for the lead with 19 RBIs and has six home runs.
"I feel like I can go out there and temper it as much as possible," Jones said before playing. "But if it starts barking during the game and there's a situation where I'm on second and my run means the game, then I've got to be smart enough to send someone else out there who can score."
That's what Jones did the previous day. After doubling in the fifth, he slid into second base and was slow returning to his feet. He finished out the inning but was replaced by Martin Prado to start the sixth.
"We'll just take it game by game," Jones said. "I need to be in there as much as possible."
The nagging injury does affect his defense "if I have to extend for a ball to my left, toward the hole," Jones said. "It's prohibited me from getting to a couple balls this year. But other than that it's not real bad."
Jones tweaked his right quad on April 9 at Colorado and felt more soreness as the Braves' road trip continued in Washington. But it sure hasn't affected his play.
Manager Bobby Cox will rely on Jones to make the call on when he might need time off.
"I had two lineups ready today he told me, 'Choose the one with my name on it,'" Cox said. "He's a veteran. He knows his body pretty well."
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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