Chipper Jones' bad left knee has limited his playing time at the start of his final season, so he says it's important to make the most of his chances.
“When I am in there, I want to make a splash,” Jones said. “I did it tonight.”
Jones hit a two-run homer in the 11th inning and the Atlanta Braves overcame Carlos Ruiz's seven RBIs to outlast the Philadelphia Phillies 15-13 on Wednesday night.
The seesaw game saw the Braves rally from a 6-0 deficit against Roy Halladay, then come back from four runs down in the eighth.
“It was just a weird game all the way around,” said Brian McCann, who hit a grand slam off Halladay. “Stuff you've never seen happen.”
Befitting the crazy game, McCann was poked in the eye with an errant high-five from teammate Michael Bourn after the homer.
Dan Uggla led off the Atlanta 11th with a single. Jones just missed a homer on a ball that landed barely foul to right, then connected against Brian Sanches (0-1). He began his path around the bases with a slow journey to first base as he and his teammates savored the dramatic moment and Braves fans stood and cheered.
“What a cool moment that was, not only for Chipper, but for the rest of us out there to enjoy that, to watch that,” McCann said. “To see him walk down the first base line like that, that's a treat for all of us.”
Jones' homer ended the Braves' eight-game losing streak to the Phillies, dating back to last season. He said the homer will hold a special place on his career highlights.
“That's right up there just because the team that we're kind of shooting for in the division obviously is the Phillies,” said Jones, who turned 40 on April 24. “Until somebody knocks them off, they're the team to beat.”
Jones is third all-time among switch-hitters with 458 homers, trailing only Mickey Mantle and Eddie Murray. Including his time in the minor leagues, Jones said it was his 500th homer as a professional.
“I'm not going to get there at the major league level, but to hit 500 homers as a professional is pretty cool,” he said.
It was the highest-scoring extra-inning game in the majors since Cleveland beat Kansas City 15-13 in 10 innings in 2006, according to STATS LLC.
Ruiz had three hits, including a three-run homer in the seventh and a three-run double in the eighth. He was the first Phillies hitter to drive in seven runs since Ryan Howard against the Yankees on June 20, 2006.
“He's been awesome for us,” said Halladay of Ruiz. “I think that's what hurts most. When you have games like this, your teammates are out there grinding and getting it done and I didn't. And that was the difference, really.”
“That's the toughest one, letting those guys down who really got it done today.”
Halladay had his worst start in five years. He gave up 12 hits _ one below his career high _ and eight runs in 5 1-3 innings.
“Honestly, I felt good,” Halladay said after seeing his ERA climb from 1.95 to 3.40. “There were some that I didn't execute. It wasn't anything else.”
Laynce Nix also hit a three-run double for the Phillies.
Braves closer Craig Kimbrel couldn't hold a 13-12 lead in the ninth. Shane Victorino's two-out infield hit drove in Juan Pierre, who walked and stole second and took third on a grounder.
Halladay was tagged by McCann's fifth career slam in the fifth. The former Cy Young winner had not allowed as many earned runs since May 5, 2007, when he gave up nine runs in 5 1-3 innings at Texas.
Martin Prado had three hits and drove in three runs, including a two-run single in the Atlanta eighth.
Braves reliever Eric O'Flaherty blew an 8-6 lead before recording an out in the seventh. Ty Wigginton walked, pinch-hitter John Mayberry Jr. singled and Ruiz followed with his fourth homer to left for a 9-8 edge.
Atlanta's Tommy Hanson gave up eight hits and four runs in 3 2-3 innings. It was his shortest start since he pitched 3 1-3 innings against the Mets on Aug. 6, 2011, in his last outing before he was placed on the disabled list for the remainder of the season with right shoulder tendinitis.
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