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ATLANTA -- To say that Chipper Jones is in the zone would not do justice to the kind of roll the slugging third baseman is currently on. Jones belted two more homers and drove home four runs as the Atlanta Braves handed the Los Angeles Dodgers a 6-1 defeat on Friday at Turner Field.
"I wish I could explain or begin to illustrate to people how awesome the last couple of nights have been," remarked Jones. "It's one of those crazy streaks you get in once every couple of years. Not only are you getting pitches to hit and not only are you not missing them, but you're doing ultimate damage with them."
Jones has been in another stratosphere at the plate this season, adding two more homers to move into a tie for the Major League lead with six. His three hits helped boost his already Major League leading mark to .455, while his 18 RBI also represent the high in all of baseball.
"I've been fortunate enough to go through some pretty good streaks and I'm certainly in one of them [now]" said Jones. "I view it as my job. I hit in the middle of this line-up. I'm supposed to drive in runs and score runs and hit some homeruns here and there and hit for high average... I'm just in one of those streaks where everything is falling for me and I'm going to ride it as long as I can."
The Braves recieved four and two thirds shut-out innings from Jeff Bennett, who was making his first start of the season and his fourth appearence in seven days. Will Ohman (1-0) struck out Andre Ethier for the final out of the fifth to strand two runners and squelch the Los Angeles scoring chance.
"Bennett did a great job," said Braves manager Bobby Cox. "He's pitched alot the last week and if we could get five out of him, I was going to be more than thrilled. He was up at 85 pitches and he got hit right [in the wrist] with a line-drive. Talk about guts, he's got them."
Lowe (1-1) was bandied about for five runs on eight hits in four and a third innings. Atlanta's three-run fifth inning proved to be his undoing. Two of Lowe's four walks on the night set the stage for Jones' three-run homer in the frame.
The second homer of the night for Jones came leading off the seventh inning against Chan Ho Park. Jones connected on a 1-0 pitch for a towering blast into the right field stands, giving him his second straight two-homer game.
Friday marked the return of Andruw Jones to Turner Field for the first time in his Dodger blues. The crowd of 38,250 gave the center fielder a rousing ovation during his first at-bat which ended in a strike out. Strangely enough, those same cheers turned to boo's throughout his final three at-bats of the night.
"I thought the ovation he got at the beginning of the ballgame was nice," remarked former teammate Chipper Jones. "I'm sure it was appreciated by him, altough it turned into boo's for some reason later on in the game which I didn't necessarily agree with."
Jones has struggled with Los Angeles this season and went went 1-for-3 with a doubles a walk and two strike outs. On the season, he is hitting just .167 with no homers and only two RBI through 16 games. Joe Torre batted Jones seventh in the line-up in his return to Atlanta.
On Deck: The series continues on Saturday afternoon. Chuck James will return from Richmond to make the start for the Braves, who were forced to put scheduled starter Tom Glavine on the 15-day DL on Friday. He will be opposed by Chad Billingsley for Los Angeles. Game time is set for 3:55 PM EST.