05/24/12 12:15 AM ET
Chipper returns in pinch-hitting duty
By Kevin Goheen / Special to MLB.com
Jones was again out of the starting lineup Wednesday against the Reds at Great American Ballpark, marking his fifth consecutive day on the bench, but he came out of the dugout to pinch-hit for pitcher Tommy Hanson with two outs in the seventh inning of a 2-1 loss. He drew a walk against Cincinnati reliever Jose Arredondo and was promptly removed for pinch-runner Tim Hudson.
"He threw me five splits and I'm sure they told him with a base open to be careful. I got five splits and he threw me one good one and four bad ones," said Jones. "If he leaves one up enough over the outside corner, then I've got a great hole to hit through between short and third, but just didn't get anything."
Juan Francisco has played in place of Jones. Francisco homered in Monday night's series opener to account for Atlanta's lone run, but that's his only hit in the first three games of the series and he's 3-for-19 (.158) on the current road trip.
Jones didn't say when he would be ready to return to the starting lineup.
"I can hit and I can field, but I still can't run," said Jones. "I can't run the bases. I don't have whatever normal range I have. Nobody wants to be out there more than me, but I've got to be smart as to whether I'm helping the team or hurting the team."
Manager Fredi Gonzalez said the Braves are going to be cautious with putting Jones in too soon. Jones had taken batting practice the last two days and swung with greater force during Wednesday's pregame session.
Gonzalez said Jones has been forthright about whether he could or could not be available to play. Jones has been wearing protective shin guard-style padding around the bruised area and will continue to do so once he returns to play.
"Bubba [head trainer Jeff Porter] told me that if he hits it again, you can expect him on the DL," said Gonzalez.
Flu-like symptoms sideline McCann
CINCINNATI -- Braves All-Star catcher Brian McCann was scratched from the starting lineup Wednesday for the second night in a row due to flu-like symptoms. McCann was originally slated to bat fifth against the Reds and starter Bronson Arroyo.
"His temperature is down from yesterday and we were trying to get him ready to play," said manager Fredi Gonzalez during a pregame media session. "He got here early, we got him moving around, but he's got the chills going right now and he's got the body ache. His joints are aching."
McCann undoubtedly was hoping to get some at-bats against Arroyo. He is 9-for-18 lifetime against the right-hander with four home runs and seven RBIs.
David Ross will start in McCann's place. Gonzalez said McCann would have been used in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Reds if the Braves would have gotten to the ninth spot in the batting order. Ross, batting seventh, lined out to shortstop to end the game.
Hinske hopes for continued success against Arroyo
CINCINNATI -- Eric Hinske didn't want to hear anything about how good his career numbers are against Cincinnati Reds starter Bronson Arroyo.
"I've got a game to play," said Hinske. "I prepare the same way whether I'm pinch-hitting or starting, so I'm going to do the best I can to have good quality at-bats."
Hinske is in the starting lineup Wednesday and playing right field against Arroyo and the Reds. Hinske has 14 hits in 33 at-bats against Arroyo, including one home run and four RBIs, dating back to their days in the American League when Hinske was with Toronto and Arroyo pitched for Boston.
This is Hinske's third season with the Braves. He hasn't had a lot of experience hitting in Great American Ball Park, but he's well aware of the stadium's hitter-friendly reputation. The Braves and Reds have combined to hit 10 home runs in the first two games of this four-game series.
"It's obviously a good hitter's park and you've got a chance to go deep any time," said Hinske. "When you go to Cincinnati, Philly, Milwaukee, Texas, Coors Field you try to get a homer before you leave."
Playing Hinske also gives manager Fredi Gonzalez a chance to rest Jason Heyward. The Braves still have another week left of a stretch in which they play 33 games in 34 days and Heyward hasn't been out of the lineup since May 1.
• While the Braves are playing without Chipper Jones, the Reds have been without their everyday third baseman, Scott Rolen, as well. They are two of only three third basemen, along with George Brett, who have produced at least 2,000 hits, 300 home runs, 500 doubles and 1,200 RBIs in their careers.
• The Braves have won eight of 14 series they have played this season. They've lost only three while splitting three others. They've lost the first two of a four-game series against the Reds.
• Triple-A Gwinnett right-handed pitcher Todd Redmond and first baseman Ernesto Mejia swept the International League's Pitcher of the Week and Batter of the Week awards for the week ending May 20.
Redmond won both of his starts and had a 0.69 ERA while Mejia hit .464 with four doubles, one triple, one home run, seven runs scored and seven RBIs, while hitting safely in every game. They are the sixth and seventh Braves' Minor Leaguers to win a weekly award this season.
Kevin Goheen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.