Jones had two hits in his last two at-bats and scored the go-ahead run on a sixth-inning wild pitch, helping the Atlanta Braves beat the Astros 6-1 Sunday to finish an 8-2 homestand.
The 40-year-old Jones had a run-scoring double in the seventh and is hitting .320 in his final season.
“Chipper is a Hall of Famer,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He may be the best player I’ve ever seen play the game.”
With the score 1-1 in the sixth, Jones singled and took third on singles by Freddie Freeman and Davis Ross. Jones scored on a pitch from Bud Norris (5-9) that sailed over catcher Carlos Corporan’s glove. Paul Janish then singled in two runs for a 4-1 lead.
Jones finished .322 with 20 homers in his career against the Astros, who dropped to a major league-worst 36-73.
“It’s a little sad to know I won’t play the Astros anymore,” Jones said. “It’s hard because the Astros were a rival of ours for so long.”
Jones said the Astros manager Brad Mills “whistled at me and said something from the dugout” and third base coach Dave Clark “came over and said something to me” about his last game against Houston.
Jones has hits in 29 of his past 33 games. He’s hitting well above his career .305 mark, prompting some to wonder whether he will reconsider his retirement plans.
“Maybe,” Gonzalez said with a smile.
“No, no,” Jones said firmly.
Jonny Venters (4-3) pitched out of a jam in the sixth to win in relief of Kris Medlen, who allowed one run and five hits in 5⅓ innings.
Atlanta remained three games behind first-place Washington in the NL East.
“They’re a good ballclub,” Jones said of the Nationals. “We’re going to have to go get them. They’re not going to come back to the pack.”
Medlen, who allowed only three hits in his first five innings, left after back-to-back singles to Marwin Gonzalez and Brett Wallace with one out in the sixth. Cory Gearrin gave up a tying double to Justin Maxwell.
Venters, who had been rested due to a sore left elbow, entered in his first appearance since July 29 and struck out pinch-hitter Matt Downs. After an intentional walk to Steve Pearce that loaded the bases, pinch-hitter J.D. Martinez grounded out.
David Ross homered in the second. Michael Bourn singled in a run in the eighth after Rhiner Cruz walked a pair of batters.
Norris gave up only one run and three hits through five innings before Atlanta’s three-run sixth.
“I felt good,” Norris said. “All the ground balls got through. There’s nothing I can do there. I’m making the pitches and unfortunately things didn’t go my way.”
Mills said Norris “threw the ball well up until the sixth inning.
“He got the leadoff guy out and then a couple singles got it started and he wasn’t able to stop it,” Mills said.