Braves win in Chipper's final regular-season home game

ATLANTA 6, NEW YORK 2

  • Follow Baseball

The Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones reacts as he leaves the field after his final regular-season game at Turner Field. The Braves will return home in the playoffs.  DAVID TULIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
DAVID TULIS/ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones reacts as he leaves the field after his final regular-season game at Turner Field. The Braves will return home in the playoffs.

ATLANTA — Kris Medlen did his part to ensure Chipper Jones’ last regular-season home game was a win.

Then again, the Braves have been winning a lot with Medlen on the mound.

The Braves won for a major league record 23rd consecutive time in games started by Medlen, beating the New York Mets 6-2 on Sunday as a sellout crowd cheered Jones’ every move.

Medlen (10-1) gave up an unearned run and three hits in six innings. The Braves have already clinched an NL wild-card spot and are on track to host the one-game playoff, which Medlen would start.

“I think the best part about it is my name is in the history books, but it’s a team thing,” Medlen said. “It’s a really cool feeling. Like I said, we’re not done. I hope we keep going.”

With Washington’s 10-4 loss to St. Louis, the Braves gained a game in the NL East and trail the first-place Nationals by three games. The Braves close the regular season with three games at Pittsburgh.

The Mets (73-86) topped 2011’s loss total and ensured their most losses since a 70-92 record in 2009.

The Mets’ only run off Medlen was set up by first baseman Freddie Freeman’s throwing error on Justin Turner’s grounder in the third. The wild throw to Medlen, who was covering first base, allowed Ruben Tejada, who singled, to score from second.

David Ross hit a three-run homer in the second off Jenrry Mejia (1-2).

Jones had a single and two walks and wouldn’t agree to come out of the game early.

“I tried to pinch-hit for him, get a big ovation for him,” Gonzalez said. “He said, ‘I want to finish this.’ That’s just the way he is.”

Jones’ parents were in Atlanta for the series.

“To be honest with you, I saw us winning this game early and I wanted to go give my mom and dad a hug after the game,” Jones said.

The retiring 40-year-old said he had “a lot of relief” the weekend was over.

“I’m glad it’s over and we can go to Pittsburgh and finish out the year and get ready for the next one back here when all the fun is going to start,” Jones said.

Jones’ teammates stayed behind in the dugout as he ran onto the field to a standing ovation to start the game. The Braves joined the ovation, and even some New York players applauded him. Mets third base coach Tim Teufel walked over and shook Jones’ hand, and finally the Braves joined Jones on the field.

“It’s a well-deserved tribute,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “We all salute him in his career. He’s a great, great player.”

Jones was immediately tested as he made a dive to his left to make a stop on a grounder from Mets leadoff hitter Ruben Tejada. The All-Star third baseman made a one-hop throw to first base from his knees for the out. He made another diving stop on a sharply hit grounder by Scott Hairston to end the inning.

Braves chanted “Let’s go, Chipper!” when he batted in the second, and booed Mejia for walking him.

Jones’ first hit of his final regular-season home series came with his third-inning single, ending a 0-for-13 drought that included four walks. He tipped his helmet to the fans before his at-bats in the first and seventh innings. With fans standing in the seventh, Jones walked again.

Jones received another loud ovation when he took the field in the ninth. Fans chanted “Thank you, Chipper” as the inning started and then “Chipper! Chipper!” with two outs.

The Braves scored a run in the fifth on doubles by Michael Bourn and Jason Heyward. Andrelton Simmons doubled in Dan Uggla in the sixth off Collin McHugh and scored on Bourn’s single.

Mejia gave up four runs on six hits in five innings.

“I thought he threw the ball good today,” Collins said. “He made a real bad throw to Ross, right down the middle. But his two-seamer was the best one I’ve seen him have.”

The Mets scored one run off Cory Gearrin in the ninth on a double by Ike Davis, a walk to Lucas Duda and a single by Andres Torres.

Closer Craig Kimbrel recorded the final out on a grounder by Fred Lewis for his 42nd save.

Bourn was a late addition to Atlanta’s lineup after missing six games with a sprained left thumb.

Medlen lined a foul ball into the Mets’ dugout in the fourth, hitting catcher Josh Thole. Thole’s right ear was red and swollen but he said he passed a concussion test.

“I just saw the doctor and there’s no issue, other than this big ear I have,” Thole said.

“It got me more on the cartilage of my ear, I think. That’s what saved me. It definitely could have been worse.”


Top headlines

2.1% inflation expected

ATLANTA -- Business executives in the Southeast see inflation a little higher than the Federal Reserve does, according to a survey released Friday.
Search Augusta jobs