- Chipper Jones
- Jonathan Papelbon
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By The Sports Xchange September 2, 2012 10:00 PM
ATLANTA - Chipper Jones capped a five-run ninth-inning rally with a three-run home run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to give the Braves an 8-7 victory over the Phillies on Sunday. "Certainly, it's one of those games I'll never forget," said Jones, who is retiring at the end of this season. "What is he, 90 years old now?" Braves catcher David Ross joked. Jones is 40 years old, but he continues to be a key player in the Braves' push for a playoff berth. The Braves trailed 7-3 entering the bottom of the ninth and were still behind by four with two outs when Martin Prado hit a bases-loaded double off Jonathan Papelbon that brought in two runs. Jones followed with his three-run blast off Papelbon to end the game and give Atlanta the unlikely victory. "I just said to myself, 'I've got to get it down in the zone,'" Jones said. "I'm not swinging at one at the letters. Cut down the swing, try to center, and let him provide the power." The approach paid off. The Phillies had dominated the game to that point, starting in the first inning. Phillies starter Cole Hamels batted before he pitched, striking out to end the Phillies' five-run first inning as they batted around. Ryan Howard drove in two of the runs on a double to left, and Erik Kratz drove in the other three with a double down the right-field line. Atlanta starter Paul Maholm was in trouble from the start. Chase Utley's one-on, one-out hit in the first bounced off the first base bag and careened out to right field. After the first six Phillies batters, with the score 2-0, the Braves' bullpen was up and throwing. "It was sitting right there for us," manager Charlie Manuel said. "We couldn't finish it off." Maholm hung in there through two batters in the third inning, his shortest outing of the season. Meanwhile, Hamels cruised through the muggy late afternoon, driving in two runs on a ground-rule double with the bases loaded in the third inning while pitching six innings of six-hit ball. Reed Johnson drove in the Braves' first three runs, one on a second-inning double and two more with a sixth-inning single. He also singled with one out in the ninth. One walk later, with the potential tying run on deck, Papelbon came in hoping to earn his 32nd save. Instead, Jones sent a 1-1 pitch out of the park and Papelbon (3-6) got the loss. "I threw the pitch I wanted," said Papelbon, who threw three fastballs to Jones. "I'm the pitcher. I throw the pitch I want to throw." The win went to Peter Moylan (1-0). Notes: Manager Fredi Gonzalez, finally acknowledging publically that the Braves' offense in on the skids, revamped his lineup for Sunday's game versus Hamels, sitting struggling players Brian McCann and Dan Uggla. Gonzalez moved Jones, the only consistent hitter, back to the third spot in the order and dropped Jason Heyward to sixth in an attempt to lengthen the lineup. . . . Andrelton Simmons (broken right little finger) was tearing around the bases before batting practice to prove his legs were in condition to begin a rehab assignment. He'll start with Double-A Mississippi on Monday, then play with Class-A Rome (Georgia) on Wednesday and with High-A Lynchburg on Thursday. . . . Justin De Fratus and Jake Diekman were recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley before the game. . . .Elias Sports Bureau says that Cliff Lee's bases-loaded walk in Saturday's games was the first time Tim Hudson had ever walked an opposing pitcher with the bases full.