08/21/12 7:27 PM ET
After long series opener, Chipper given a break
By Jeff Seidel / Special to MLB.com
The opener of the three-game series was delayed 56 minutes at the start and then dragged on for 4 hours and 27 minutes before ending around 12:30 a.m. ET, as the Nationals pulled out a 5-4 victory in 13 innings. Jones played the entire time, going 1-for-5.
After all of that, Jones was out of the starting lineup for the middle game of the three-game series.
"I gave him a courtesy text, but I knew the answer," Gonzalez said. "I said 'How are you feeling?' 'Not good,' [he said]. That's what I thought. Give him a day, play him tomorrow. It's fine."
Jones is playing well in his final season, batting .311 with 13 homers and 54 RBIs in 79 games. He said that this was going to be his last year, and he hasn't pulled back from it.
"There's a different look in his eye this year," Gonzalez said. "I always said it's going to be a productive [one] for him. I think [retiring is] a motivator. He's going out pretty good."
Juan Francisco stepped in for Jones on Tuesday, batting seventh and playing third base against Stephen Strasburg.
Sheets, Hanson available in 'pen if necessary
WASHINGTON -- Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Tuesday that if the Braves run into a marathon like Monday, the skipper will put starters Tommy Hanson and Ben Sheets into the bullpen for emergency situations.
Neither Hanson nor Sheets has never appeared in the Majors as a reliever.
The Braves planned to give Cristhian Martinez the day off Tuesday after he had pitched for three straight days.
Gonzalez brought Martinez into Monday night's long game. The right-hander came on in the 12th inning, threw 1 1/3 innings and took a hard-luck loss.
He gave up three infield singles in the 13th, and the Nationals got a win despite not hitting the ball out of the infield.
"We'll lay off of Cristhian for sure, today," Gonzalez said prior to the middle game of the series.
Gonzalez said if Martinez had gotten through the 13th Monday, then closer Craig Kimbrel would have come on in the 14th.
Short memory key for Braves after tough loss
WASHINGTON -- The Braves delivered a common message when talking about the painful 5-4 loss to the Nationals on Monday night: The only thing to do is to forget the 13-inning defeat and move on.
"We played hard; we did everything we could to win the game," said left fielder Martin Prado. "It's part of the game. Somebody has to win. Somebody has to lose."
The Braves bounced back from an early 4-1 deficit to tie the game in the fifth inning against Jordan Zimmermann, the National League ERA leader coming into the game. But after that, despite a number of good scoring chances, they couldn't push across the go-ahead run.
Starting pitcher Tim Hudson said afterward that there was nothing left for the Braves to do at that point except just move on to the next game.
"We fought and fought the whole game. Didn't have enough out there in the end," he said. "There's really nothing to say. They beat us. We've got to put it behind us, and come out [Tuesday] and try to win."
The play that scored the winning run Monday involving second baseman Dan Uggla was originally scored an error, but the official scorer changed it afterward to an infield single for pinch-hitter Chad Tracy. Washington got three infield singles in the 13th.
Uggla came into Tuesday's game needing three hits to reach 1,000 for his career.
Jones did not start the game but his next hit will give him 2,704 overall and tie him with Doc Cramer (played from 1929-48) for 63rd place on the all-time hits list. After that, Jones needs seven to draw even with Hall of Famer Billy Williams for 62nd place.
Jeff Seidel is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.