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Andruw Jones hears mostly cheers in return to Atlanta

POSTED: April 30, 2008 5:01 a.m.

ATLANTA — Andruw Jones hopes a return to his longtime home will get him going in his first season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For the first time Friday night, Jones played a game at Turner Field as a member of the visiting team.

He spent a dozen seasons with the Atlanta Braves before leaving as a free agent and signing with the Dodgers.

Jones received a warm welcome from the fans who remember his 10 straight Gold Gloves and a career-high 51 homers in 2005, when he finished runner-up in the NL MVP voting.

The center fielder was cheered when his picture was shown on the video board during pre-game introductions, and a smattering of boos was drowned out by a standing ovation when he came to bat leading off the second inning. He fouled off a couple of pitches, then took a called third strike.

Manager Joe Torre hopes a return to Atlanta will be just what Jones needs to shake out of his slump.

"All bets are off here," Torre said.

"This was the only organization he’s ever been with. Hopefully it works to our benefit where all of a sudden he steps in the batters box and he’s comfortable. I’m sure there’s an emotional tie here."

Jones’ reception in Los Angeles hasn’t been nearly as good. Hitting just .157 with no homers in the first 15 games with his new team, Jones already has gotten booed by the demanding Dodger fans.

Moylan’s elbow

Braves reliever Peter Moylan may still need reconstructive elbow surgery, but he was feeling a little better after three hours of stretching and exercising before Friday’s game against the Dodgers.

He’ll stick with this program for at least another week, then do some tossing to see how his elbow feels.

The Braves say he’ll need season-ending surgery if the rehab doesn’t work.

"If you had asked me yesterday, I would have said no chance," Moylan said.

The right-hander apparently has a bone spur imbedded in a ligament.

The injury came when he had just started filling in as the closer for Rafael Soriano, who went on the disabled list with a tender elbow.

"It crushed me," Moylan said. "I was so amped up, so ready to pitch, I guess I was too amped up. I was throwing harder than I’ve thrown all year. The crazy thing was, I was hitting my spots better than I have all year, too. It was the best I’ve thrown in I can’t remember how long."

Glavine update

Braves pitcher Tom Glavine went on the disabled list for the first time in his 22-year career Friday night, forced out by a strained right hamstring that needs more time to heal.

The Braves recalled Chuck James from Triple-A Richmond to start the second game of the weekend series against the Dodgers.

"I never envisioned a hamstring problem, especially as flexible as I am and as loose as I was before the game," Glavine said. "Hopefully it was just one of those freak things."

Braves tidbits

Braves LF Gregor Blanco made his first major league start. ... Soriano plans to throw a bullpen session in the next couple of days and hopes to come off the DL next week. ... LHP Mike Hampton, yet another ailing Braves pitcher, will throw a regular bullpen session Saturday. No word on when he might be ready to again attempt his first start in the majors since 2005.



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