LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Chipper Jones’ surgically-repaired left knee bounced back well from his first start at third base Thursday. It was the rest of him that needed a breather.
Jones was back at designated hitter for Friday’s game against the Blue Jays. He went 1-for-3 with a line drive single.
“I’m pretty sore, sore all over, (but) the knee’s not bad,” Jones said. “You can’t simulate everything you do in a game, whether it’s squatting to get ready at third, taking off, stopping, starting on the bases. You take it for granted until the next morning. Yesterday was a good first step.”
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said he’s likely to play Jones at DH again Saturday and then get him back in the field Sunday against the Nationals.
Eric Hinske was scratched from the lineup on Friday with left calf stiffness but said he would be fine to go Saturday.
“They didn’t want me running around left field today,” Hinske said. “Take a day.”
Right fielder Jason Heyward sat out for the second consecutive game with soreness in his left groin. But he took batting practice Friday and came away pleased with how it felt. He plans to test it running Saturday and if all goes well, get back in the lineup on Sunday against the Nationals.
“I feel confident about it,” Heyward said after batting practice. “If it was the season, (I’d) definitely play tomorrow. But now, let’s make sure.”
From split-squad action Friday
Closer candidate Craig Kimbrel had his second two-run outing in three spring training appearances, giving up three hits Friday in Viera but he also struck out two batters. Nate McLouth continued to swing a hot bat, going 2-for-2 with a double and a walk to raise his average this spring to .500 (5-for-10). The game was delayed two minutes for a swarm of bees in right field.
In the Braves’ loss to Toronto at home, reliever Peter Moylan struggled with location on his sinking fastball, giving up four hits to the first five batters he faced in a two-run ninth inning.
Former Brave shortstop Yunel Escobar went 2-for-4 for the Blue Jays and made a nice turn and throw to get Alex Gonzalez, his shortstop counterpart in the trade with Toronto last year.