On the same day he was announced as a National League All-Star, Chipper Jones had one of the best games of his career with a five-hit game, giving the Atlanta Braves a vital offensive spark in their 10-3 win over the Chicago Cubs Tuesday at Turner Field.
The game, during which Jones also drove in four runs, was the third time he's collected five hits and the first time since 2002.
"Tonight was just one of those dream games," Jones said. "I'd be hard pressed to find another game where I played better."
In a pre-game interview, Jones told Fox Sports South that he had not seen as quite of consistent an effort as he would like out of the offense, so it seemed he just took matters into his own hands and led by example.
Jones drove in Michael Bourn in the bottom of the first inning with a single, and just to add to his storied night, he stole second for his first steal of the year. He would also record a singles in the fourth and a double in the fifth inning as part of a five-run outburst. The sixth inning saw Chipper put the nail in the Cubs' coffin with a three-run double in the sixth.
"I tried to start stuff when there wasn't anybody on base, and I tried to mop up whenever there were guys on base," Jones said. "It was just one of those dream games that kind of reinvigorate you a little bit."
After Jones recorded his final hit in the eighth, he was replaced with Juan Francisco as a pinch-runner, giving him the chance to leave to a standing ovation and a curtain call.
The first half of the game looked like the Braves were on their way to another loss to a sub-par Cubs team when some horrific defensive play led to a three-run inning in the third. They had also only gathered three hits off Cubs starting pitcher Chris Volstad, who has not won in 20 starts and spent the last six weeks in the minor leagues.
The nearly fatal third inning started when Freddie Freeman got a bad hop on a David DeJesus grounder. Dan Uggla would then attempt to turn a double play, but threw the ball into left field, allowing DeJesus to score from first. Jair Jurrjens fielded a comebacker from Anthony Rizzo and attempted to pick Starlin Castro off of second, only to not record an out on the play.
Two straight two-out RBI singles from Bryan LaHair and Steve Clevenger had the Braves staring at a 3-1 deficit.
"After that third inning you were thinking, 'Oh my goodness, here we go again.' You could sense the frustration building," Jones said. "Then our MVP [Bourn] up until this point stepped up with a big knock."
Brian McCann got his first hit in 15 at-bats to start the fifth, followed by an infield single by Andrelton Simmons. Eric Hinske drew a pinch-hit walk to load the bases for Bourn, who came through with a bases clearing triple in the right field corner.
After Martin Prado emptied the bases with a sacrifice fly, Jason Heyward put an exclamation point on the inning with a solo homer to chase Volstad from the game.
The Braves would also tack on four more runs in the sixth with the help of six walks before Chipper delivered his three-run double.
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