Hours after finding out he is added to the NL's All-Star roster, Atlanta's Chipper Jones has one of the best games of his career at the plate (5-for-5, 4 RBI, 2 2B) and makes several great plays in the field.
Chipper replaces Matt Kemp on All-Star roster
ATLANTA — Braves third baseman Chipper Jones on Tuesday was named to replace Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp on the NL All-Star roster.
Jones had been a candidate to be voted onto the team by fans in baseball’s Final Vote campaign. Instead, Jones, 40, is replacing Kemp, who is on the disabled list with a hamstring injury but plans to participate in the All-Star home run derby.
Jones said he immediately thought about his children when he was told by general manager Frank Wren of the honor after batting practice on Tuesday.
“I’m gonna be a kid in a candy store carrying four other kids in a candy store,” Jones said.
He said his spot on the All-Star team “was a complete surprise.”
The All-Star game will be played at Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium. Jones said it is the only current stadium in the major leagues in which he has not played.
Jones will be making his eighth All-Star appearance in his final season. He has announced plans to retire after the season.
He is hitting .291 with six homers and 29 RBIs. He said he will tell NL manager Tony La Russa he would be happy just to watch if he is not needed in next Tuesday’s game.
Jones will join Braves teammates Dan Uggla, the starting second baseman, and closer Craig Kimbrel on the NL team. Center fielder Michael Bourn remains a candidate in the fans’ Final Vote for the last roster spot.
Jones was injured and did not play when he was named to the 2011 All-Star team. He is 5 for 13, for a .385 average, with one homer in six All-Star games. He started in 2008.
“I’ve felt the same excitement every time,” Jones said.
Jones’ 460 career homers are No. 3 on the list of switch-hitters, behind Mickey Mantle (536) and Eddie Murray (504).
He entered Tuesday night’s game with a season-best nine-game hitting streak. He said he has regained confidence in his swing after missing two weeks with a contusion on his left leg.
ATLANTA — Chipper Jones absorbed every moment of a performance he said he'll cherish in retirement.
The newly chosen All-Star, delivered his first five-hit game in a decade, driving in four runs Tuesday night and leading the Atlanta Braves over the Chicago Cubs 10-3.
Jones was added to the NL All-Star roster before the game. The 40-year-old third baseman replaced injured Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp.
He then played like an All-Star at the plate, on defense and with his first stolen base of the season.
Jones, who plans to retire after this season, went 5 for 5 for his third career five-hit game and first since Aug. 11, 2002.
"Tonight was just one of those dream games," Jones said. "I would be hard-pressed to find a game in which I played better."
After his fifth hit, a single in the eighth inning, Jones was lifted for pinch runner Juan Francisco. Jones tipped his batting helmet as he received an ovation on his way to the dugout. He emerged from the dugout for another wave to the fans as the cheers continued.
"That was fun. That was a lot of fun," Jones said. "It's just another one to file in the memory bank from my last year. It has been pretty special to this point."
Jones hit a three-run double in the sixth. He has a season-best 10-game hitting streak and is hitting .313.
"I don't think that swing is ready to retire," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said.
Jones added a defensive highlight in the eighth inning when he fielded Darwin Barney's grounder behind third base and, while in foul territory, threw him out at first.
"Impressive," Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens said. "He stole the show today. He carried us."
Jurrjens (2-2) gave up nine hits and three runs, all unearned, in five innings. Reliever Kris Medlen pitched three perfect innings.
The Cubs led 3-1 before Michael Bourn hit a bases-loaded triple in Atlanta's five-run fifth. Martin Prado's sacrifice fly and Jason Heyward's 13th homer in the inning pushed the Braves' lead to 6-3, chasing Chris Volstad out of the game.
Volstad (0-7) was promoted from Triple-A Iowa for the start. He gave up six runs on seven hits and two walks in 4 1-3 innings.
"He didn't really pitch to the game plan and that was discouraging," Sveum said, adding Volstad didn't follow catcher Steve Clevenger.
Sveum said Volstad will have another chance.
"We don't have any options, so we'll run him out there again," Sveum said. "As of now we don't have any other options."
The loss left Volstad with 20 consecutive starts without a win. It is the longest winless streak in the majors since Jo-Jo Reyes made 28 straight winless starts for the Braves and the Blue Jays from 2008-11, according to STATS LLC.
Volstad was winless in his last 11 starts with Florida in 2011 and hasn't won in nine starts over two stints with the Cubs this season.
"It's definitely a learning process," Volstad said. "I think it's just a matter of trying to be too perfect. Too fine.
"I just need to relax."
Bourn walked in the first and scored when Jones' single dropped in front of David DeJesus in center field. DeJesus dove and trapped the ball.
Cubs relievers Rafael Dolis and Jairo Asencio combined to walk six batters in the sixth, helping the Braves score four runs on only one hit — Jones' bases-loaded double to right field. Prado forced in a run with a bases-loaded walk from Asencio.
The start of the game was delayed by rain for 52 minutes. Following the rain, the first-pitch temperature was 72 degrees, a drop of more than 20 degrees.
NOTES: Volstad’s last win came on July 10, 2011 with Florida against Houston. … The Cubs optioned RHP Casey Coleman to Triple-A Iowa to clear a roster spot for Volstad. Coleman gave up seven earned runs, his career high as a reliever, in last Wednesday’s 17-1 loss to the Reds. … Braves RHP Randall Delgado will face Cubs LHP Paul Maholm as the series continues on Wednesday night. Maholm threw seven scoreless innings in a 1-0 win over the Braves in Chicago on May 5.