06/03/10 10:10 PM ET
Jones sits out with ailing finger
By Evan Drellich / MLB.com
The finger was stiff Thursday and also felt freezer-burned, Jones said, after he received treatment that applies cortisone to the finger via a pad instead of an injection. He also is using contrast therapy: hot and cold pads.
Jones felt the pain in the finger during a series with the Pirates last weekend. It's most bothersome when he bats from the left side of the plate and his right hand is the bottom hand. He keeps three fingers on the handle and places his pinkie on the knob, which puts stress on that right ring finger. Jones has been bothered by the finger at other points in his career, but not like this. The pain has started to radiate into the knuckle.
"It's just kind of gone away," he said. "It's never gotten progressively worse. ... Last couple days, some of the swings I was taking, it wasn't working."
Jones, batting .240, had pieced together a five-game hit streak that included three multihit games before it ended Tuesday.
Omar Infante had the go-ahead single in a 2-1 win Wednesday after he replaced Jones at third base and he was in the lineup again Thursday, batting second. Infante isn't running at 100 percent, Braves manager Bobby Cox said, because of a bothersome hamstring.
Cox not in favor of increased replay use
LOS ANGELES -- The Braves were watching Tigers pitcher Armando Galarraga's perfect-game bid Wednesday night, and the team's first reaction was the same as first-base umpire Jim Joyce's.
"To the naked eye -- we were all watching it on the airplane live -- he looked safe," manager Bobby Cox said Thursday. "Our first thing was [gosh darn it], we wanted to see him get the no-hitter. And, you know, he was out by a half a step."
Replays showed that Joyce's safe call at first base on the potential final out of the perfect game was wrong. Cox doesn't want to see any ex post facto corrections, though. No additional instant replay, and no alteration of the box score to credit Galarraga with a perfect game.
"Not for me," Cox said. "What are they gonna do, replay a game where you throw out the winning run at home in a tie game, and everybody walks off the field and [replay] clearly shows the guy never made it to home plate? It was blocked off and they tag him. You gonna change that one?"
Commissioner Bud Selig said in a statement Thursday he would look at potentially expanding replay use in baseball.
Wagner might rest in opener vs. Dodgers
LOS ANGELES -- Braves closer Billy Wagner has pitched in six of the last eight games and may not be available Thursday night for the start of a four-game series with the Dodgers.
"I feel just as normal as I have in the past two months," Wagner said.
Less than two months from his 39th birthday, Wagner is averaging 13.92 strikeouts per nine innings, which trails only Cubs closer Carlos Marmol's rate of 18 per nine for the MLB lead among pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched. Wagner hasn't allowed a run in his last seven appearances, including the last two games against the Phillies in Atlanta. He's had four saves in his last four appearances.
"He's been lights out," manager Bobby Cox said. "It's funny, he can go five, six days without pitching. ... We haven't had a lot of save opportunities, to be honest with you."
Cox said common sense dictates his usage of Wagner, who has thrown a total of 21 pitches the last two games.
Takashi Saito, who isn't far behind Wagner with 12.75 strikeouts per nine innings, would take over closing duties if Wagner's unavailable. Saito last pitched Tuesday and has not allowed a run since May 23, a string of four scoreless appearances.
"If you give him rest, he can close any day, any time with two days' rest," Cox said Thursday. "He'll close tonight if he's OK, depending on matchups."
Cox recalls early days of Dodger Stadium
LOS ANGELES -- In his final regular-season visit to Dodger Stadium as a manager, Bobby Cox can remember visiting the ballpark in its third season, 1964.
"This is one of my favorite parts, no doubt about that, to come to," Cox said. "The weather's always the best here and San Diego."
Cox and a teammate of his in the Dodgers system, catcher Mickey Hartling, had finished the season with the Double-A Albuquerque Dukes. Hartling was to attend Thursday night's game, Cox said.
"I drove him home in a '53 Buick I paid 350 bucks for," Cox said. "Wish I had kept it."
There was no specific memory of the stadium that stood out for Cox, but he remembered "some great battles" with former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda.
"This was as good a park in those days overall and it still is," Cox said. "Just a neat baseball park. So clean, the weather's always so good, so manicured. You know, special place."
Prado's hitting prowess not a surprise
LOS ANGELES -- Martin Prado had a pair of hits Wednesday for his 13th multihit game in his last 23 games. He was hitting .424 over a seven-game hit streak and leads the National League with both 24 multihit games and 73 hits on the season.
"Prado's always been a hitter," manager Bobby Cox said. "All throughout the Minor Leagues, his days in Venezuela for the winter leagues. Everywhere he's played, he hits. It's not a revelation that he's getting hits. Good player, not only a great hitter, great second baseman."
Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.