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Chipper to start in Game 2
10/07/2004 1:59 PM ET
ATLANTA -- A bruised right hand will not keep Chipper Jones out of the starting lineup for Game 2 of the National League Division Series with the Astros on Thursday afternoon.

"I'm going to give it a try," Jones said before participating in pregame drills.

After losing, 9-3, in Game 1 on Wednesday, the Braves are hopeful Jones can provide production in the middle of the order.

On Wednesday he was hitless in four at-bats.

In the Game 1 loss, the switch-hitting star aggravated his bruised right hand while making a diving backhanded stop on a Morgan Ensberg grounder in the fifth inning. He remained in the game, but afterward noted he was ailing.

"He took some swings and is going to give it a go," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "He's got some swings in it [his hand]."

Jones took a reduced number of cuts in batting practice, not wanting to aggravate the hand. The third baseman also fielded grounders at his position in warmups.

Cox added that in case Jones wasn't ready, he had prepared two different lineups. One had Marcus Giles switching to third and Nick Green playing second. But the manager went with the lineup with Jones penciled in at third.

The injury to the blade portion of his right hand occurred last Saturday at Chicago when he was struck by a Carlos Zambrano fastball.

The hand still has discoloration, and Jones has discomfort swinging, especially from the right side of the plate. But with the Astros having a predominantly right-handed staff, Jones is batting left-handed. He keeps the bottom of his right hand slightly off the knob of the bat in an effort to relieve some of the pain.

After Wednesday's game, Jones said: "It's just tough to turn the knob of the bat when you're going up against a Roger Clemens fastball."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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