NEW YORK (AP) - Chipper Jones is batting second in the Atlanta Braves’ lineup for the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Mets on Thursday, his first start in that spot since 1996.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he was just trying to shake up the struggling Braves, coming off a three-game sweep at the hands of the Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta has lost five of six overall and its lead in the NL wild-card race over St. Louis is down to 6 1/2 games.
Gonzalez wanted his best guys by on-base percentage at the top of the order. Jones will follow Michael Bourn and hit ahead of Brian McCann.
Jones says he is fine with the switch but he will still hit like a No. 3 hitter.
He has been included in the starting lineup in the second spot four times in his 18-year career, all in 1996. He has made 1,776 starts batting third.
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