ATLANTA - Chipper Jones was given a routine day off Sunday by manager Bobby Cox, who said the decision was nothing more than a chance for the left fielder to rest a few nagging injuries.
He was replaced by former Georgia Tech standout Darren Bragg, who helped provide the Braves' offensive spark with a solo home run in the fourth inning off Bobby Jones.
"Chipper's neck has been hurting and his left knee has been bothering him for some time," Cox said. "We just wanted to give him a rest."
Jones, who had started all 37 of Atlanta's previous games, will be back in the starting lineup when the team returns to action tonight at San Francisco. Jones did make an appearance in Sunday's 6-5 loss, popping out to Ramon Vasquez at third in the bottom of the ninth inning with nobody out and a runner on first base.
Jones wasn't the only Atlanta regular given a day off. Third baseman Vinny Castilla was also rested in favor of Mark DeRosa, who chipped in offensively by going 2-for-4 with a double and two RBI.
"Chipper and Vinny will both be back (today)," Cox said. "We've got to give our guys some rest from time to time. It's a long season."
NO FOUL: When San Diego's Phil Nevin slung his bat in the general direction of pitcher Jason Marquis during an at-bat in the sixth inning Saturday night, some wondered if the Padres third baseman did it on purpose.
Earlier this week, Boston's Trot Nixon was suspended four games by the league for a similar incident.
The incident occurred when Nevin was forced to let go of his bat during a swing against Marquis after being brushed back on the previous pitch.
Turns out that wasn't the case at all.
Nevin has been nursing a sprained left elbow, which affected his ability to swing the bat. Nevin underwent an magnetic resonance imaging in Atlanta on Sunday and likely will be placed on the disabled list.
"I'm not in a whole lot of pain," Nevin said. "I just figured it was a little ache that would go away. It hurts, but it only hurts for a little bit. It's just a little deal in my elbow. I don't think it really hurts, other than my fingers and hand going numb."
PEPPER GAME: Prior to Sunday's game, the Braves honored 100-year-old Pearl Sandow, arguably the team's biggest fans. Sandow, who has witnessed more than 5,000 Braves games since the team moved to Atlanta in 1966, was given a giant birthday card autographed by the team and served as the team's honorary captain during the pre-game meeting at home plate. ... Atlanta has now gone six straight games without scoring before its opponent. ... Former Georgia football signee and Braves outfielder George Lombard, on the 15-day disabled list since March 30, has reported to extended spring training and Saturday went 1-for-2 with a home run. ... Rafael Furcal's first-inning throwing error was his 13th boot of the year.
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