Chipper Jones Returns from DL; Leads Braves to First Win of 2012: Fan’s Take

One night after the Atlanta Braves saw one of their worst single-player defensive performances since Brooks Conrad knocked the team out of the playoffs in 2010, Chipper Jones returned to the team from the disabled list. Not only did the future Hall of Famer return to the lineup, providing leadership that the team had lacked through four games, he connected with a go-ahead two-run home run in the third inning of their 6-4 victory against the Houston Astros.

In the series opener, Juan Francisco, who was acquired on April 1 to help replace Jones in the lineup, committed three costly errors in the 8-3 loss. Not only did the poor defensive showing prove that the team needed a leader, it proved that the team needed Jones.

Jones, who began his career with a World Series title in 1995, will be hoping to finish his career with one this season. Just five games into the season, the Braves have looked terrible, but Jones' presence in the lineup should be a major boost.

Leading the way for the Braves were Jones and Dan Uggla. Jones and Uggla each added two hits, and while no other player had a multi-hit performance, as a unit, it was their best offensive performance of the brief season.

The pitching staff was led by starter Tommy Hanson, who made it just five innings for his second straight start. He allowed two runs on six hits and three walks, with eight strikeouts. He was lifted after throwing 101 pitches, but still did enough to earn his first win as the official ace of the staff.

In the sixth inning, Kris Medlen was roughed up for two runs on three hits, but the trio of Eric O'Flaherty, Johny Venters and Craig Kimbrel combined to finish out the final three innings, allowing five base runners with four strikeouts. It was nice to see Kimbrel finally enter a game this season and the talented closer picked up where he left off his rookie campaign.

For access to Atlanta Braves season recaps from 1990-present, a look at trades that changed Braves history, or a look at the greatest award winners in team history, go here for easier access.

More from this contributor:

Dan Uggla Ready to Bounce Back in 2012

All-Braves Team

Top Athletes to Return from Retirement and have an Impact

Remembering Skip Caray

Rise and fall of Andruw Jones

Hobson Lopes has been a life-long Atlanta Braves fan, thanks to TBS, and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.

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Updated Wednesday, Apr 11, 2012