SAN FRANCISCO -- Chipper Jones' 1,000th hit wasn't quite what he envisioned, but the ball is going into his trophy room nonetheless.
Jones reached the milestone with an infield hit in the ninth inning of Friday night's 2-0 loss to the Giants, a ground ball that second baseman Jeff Kent gloved, but his off-balance throw to first base arrived too late.
"I would rather it have been a three-run homer to put us in the lead," said Jones, who needed five-plus seasons and 3,314 at-bats to reach 1,000. "Nonetheless, a dribbler up the middle is better than four weak outs.
"It seems like I should have gotten there a lot earlier. It's a nice milestone, but I'm not near finished. Hopefully, I'm a third of the way there."
Hits have been hard to come by lately for the third baseman, who has 10 hits in his last 54 at-bats (.185), but has hit in seven of his last nine games at a .294 clip.
At his current pace, Jones will reach 2,000 hits during the 2006 season when he's 34, which means he'll have to play until he's 40 to attain the 3,000-hit plateau.
"Hopefully, the next 1,000 will come a little easier," he said. "One thousand hits is a lot of hits and hitting .300 in this league isn't easy."
NO SUPPORT FOR MADDUX
Greg Maddux was the loser Friday night, despite allowing only five hits and a pair of runs in seven innings. By now, he's accustomed to a lack of support. He's the third-worst supported pitcher in the National League, the seventh-worst in the majors, receiving an average of 4.07 runs per start.
"When you get runs, all of a sudden you're good, even if you're not," he said. "You look at what David Wells (17 wins) is doing and he's probably not pitching any differently than he was a few years ago."
The lack of support has diminished Maddux's chances of winning 20 games, a milestone he has reached only twice before during his career. He's 13-7 with only eight or nine starts remaining, so it's likely he'll fall short again.
"Yeah, I'd love to win 20, heck, I'd love to win 30, but things have got to go right to win 20," he said. "I don't get caught up in it. It takes away from the enjoyment of the game when you get too concerned with that you're doing."
LOCKHART FEELING COMFORTABLE
Keith Lockhart has started eight consecutive games at second base, which has allowed him to get his rhythm at the plate and feel comfortable again. He was 9 for 22 (.409) during last week's homestand, boosting his average to .250.
Lockhart says that by forgetting about his hitting and concentrating on playing defense, he found his swing.
"I've always just worried about my hitting," he said. "If I was hitting, then everything was OK. Telling myself to just play defense helped me relax and in the last couple of weeks, my offense and defense have come around."
Bobby Cox is four wins away from tying Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda for 14th place on the all-time list with 1,599 wins.
Friday night's game (2:09) was the Braves' quickest of the season, surpassing the 2:14 game the Braves and Rockies played on opening day.
Andres Galarraga hit .245 in June and .250 in July, but he's hitting .386 this month with 14 RBI, eight shy of his RBI total from the past two months combined.
Mike Remlinger is the bullpen's hottest reliever, having made 14 straight scoreless appearances, starting July 16 at Tampa Bay. He's 3-0 with four saves during that stretch, allowing only six hits in 15 innings, with 15 strikeouts.
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