Atlanta Braves third baseman Chipper Jones will likely miss the rest of the Braves' series with the Tampa Bay Rays after suffering a contusion to his left calf while trying to field a hard grounder by B.J. Upton in the third inning Friday night. Chipper left in the seventh inning after going hitless in his final two at-bats.
Jones planned to have family and friends from his hometown area of Deland, Fla., attend the game Saturday.
"It's safe to say my career in Tampa Bay is officially over," Jones said.
Chipper was injured when he attempted to field a scorched one-hop grounder from Upton in the third inning, but the ball screamed past his glove on bounced instead off his leg and to Tyler Pastornicky at shortstop. Upton reached on a single, but Jones stayed down for about two minutes while Jeff Porter and Fredi Gonzalez came out to check on him.
After convincing Porter and Gonzalez that he could still play, he stayed in the game another four innings before being replaced by Juan Francisco in the seventh in a pinch-hit role. Jones made the call to exit the game when the pain from the bruise exacerbated and he realized the Braves needed more range on defense.
"It started getting worse and worse, and I finally told [Gonzalez], 'You better get somebody in there,'" Jones said. "It's hard to stay on the back side when you're trying to hit. Then, I knew I was going to be a liability in the field."
The bruise is about five inches in diameter and was centered between the inside of his left calf and the top of his ankle. Jones said he did not feel it was necessary to be examined with an X-ray or MRI.
Go here to see the video of Chipper's injury.Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Chipper Jones, MLB