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Chipper pinch-hits, returns to bench

Chipper unable to start fourth straight game

ATLANTA -- Third baseman Chipper Jones pinch-hit during the Braves' 4-3 loss to the Brewers on Tuesday night, the only contribution he's physically able to make right now.

"I can swing the bat, I just can't do anything else," Jones said after the game.

Jones has missed four straight starts because of a strained right quadriceps, and he will likely be relegated to pinch-hit duties if he makes an appearance during Wednesday's series finale.

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After singling to center field to lead off the eighth inning Tuesday, Jones was immediately removed for pinch-runner Brent Lillibridge. Jones' Major League-leading batting average is now .395.

"Anybody with an arm in the outfield could throw me out at first base," Jones said. "I'm not trying to overextend whatsoever."

Before Tuesday's game, Jones said through a Braves spokesperson that he has experienced a "slight improvement from [Monday], but not nearly ready to be back in the lineup."

Omar Infante started in place of Jones at third base, but moved over to shortstop when Yunel Escobar was ejected in the fourth inning. Ruben Gotay played third base for the final five innings.

Jones could be used as the designated hitter when the Braves begin a three-game Interleague series with the Blue Jays on Friday. He said that "is the best-case scenario."

Jones reinjured the right quadriceps last Friday while scoring from second base. Jones had a pinch-hit RBI single on Saturday, but didn't stay in to run.

The quadriceps injury, which has hampered Jones since early April, was diagnosed last week as a small tear.

Ryan Lavner is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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