As the Cincinnati Reds completed a four-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night, the Braves remain without a couple of their key cogs in the line-up.
Chipper Jones, after taking a sharp ground ball directly to the ankle on Sunday, has missed the last four games. While he was able to pinch hit in Wednesday's game, he said his left calf and ankle area feels worse than it did during his pinch hit appearance.
"I'm probably worse off today than yesterday," Jones said. "It's bad timing, too, [with] the first matchup with the Nationals coming up. This is a first for me."
Jones had the area "milked" to remove some of the fluid, but it caused some stiffness in his leg. He still has limited mobility, and the bruised area is very discolored.
Jones originally hoped he would miss only a few games, but now he is unsure when he'll be able to return. The Braves need him back in the line-up, as the offense is scuffling mightily as of late. The Braves are 19-5 with Jones in the line-up and 7-15 when he doesn't start.
Brian McCann has missed the last three games while battling the flu. His symptoms were worse Thursday than they had been in previous days.
"I think it's a full-blown flu going now with his temperature and aching feelings," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "The last three days he's been curled up on a sofa or the training room. There's nothing you can do but let that thing take its course."
Finally, Jonny Venters is feeling better after being struck on the calf by a line drive off the bat of Joey Votto.
"It's not too bad at all," Venters said. "Apparently I've got to hit it off of me or the other team to get anybody out. But I feel fine."
He returned to action Thursday night and pitched an inning in relief.
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