After being showered with cheers all weekend, Chipper Jones got one more standing ovation from a sold-out crowd at Turner Field on Sunday.
At the conclusion of an Atlanta Braves 6-2 victory over the New York Mets, Jones walked off the field to a booming applause for the final time in the regular season. The retiring slugger finished 1-for-2, recording his first hit of the series in the third.
David Ross provided all the necessary offense with a three-run homer for the Braves, who stayed alive for the NL East crown after the Washington Nationals lost to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday. Atlanta trails Washington by three games with three left to play.
Kris Medlen (10-1) once again dazzled for Atlanta. He tossed six strong innings of three-hit ball, allowed one unearned run and struck out four to notch his ninth win in his last 12 starts. The Braves have won in his last 23 starts overall, breaking the record set 49 years ago by New York Yankees' Whitey Ford.
"I think the best part about it is that my name is in the history books, but it's a team thing, they are team wins," said Medlen. "Guys go out and battle for me because they know I'm going to go out and throw strikes and try and execute my pitches. It's been a fun ride and I don't think we're done."
After Andres Torres drove in a run in the ninth, Craig Kimbrel came in to lock down his 42nd save of the season.
Coming off his first career win, New York starter Jennry Mejia (1-2) was unable to duplicate his last outing. He lasted five innings and surrendered four runs on six hits with two walks. He struck out three in the loss.
Ross' homer in the second plated the first runs of the game. Following a leadoff walk to Jones and a Freddie Freeman double, Ross ripped a Mejia fastball into the left field seats to give Atlanta a 3-0 lead.
Ruben Tejada scored a run in the following frame for the Mets on a throwing error by Freeman, but the Braves got the run back in the fifth when Jason Heyward stroked an RBI double.
Jones delivered his 2,725th career hit with single up the middle in the bottom half of the third. The milestone gave Jones the fifth-most career hits for a switch-hitter and placed him 57th on the all-time hits list, surpassing Robbie Alomar.
"I grew up watching that guy so you know it is definitely an honor to see somebody put together that kind of career," said Mets' Daniel Murphy. "I thought the fans did an unbelievable job, very receptive. Obviously Chipper has given a lot to them and vice versa."
Jones also flashed the leather in his final home game. He made two diving stops in the first inning, the first to retire Tejada and the second to save a run. With runners on first and second, Scott Hairston grounded a ball to the left side. Jones dove and from his knees threw to second to get the force out to end the inning.
Then, in the third, he made a bare-handed scoop on a soft grounder from Mejia and threw out the hustling pitcher by a step.
Atlanta tacked on two more runs in the sixth with an RBI triple from Andrelton Simmons and a run-scoring single by Michael Bourn.
The Braves are now 27 games over .500 for the first time since the 2004 season ... Atlanta improved to 19-8 in September and will finish its season with a three-game set in Pittsburgh ... The Mets completed their fourth consecutive losing month after posting winning records through the first three and will wrap up the season with three in Miami.