He also boosted the confidence of Braves’ fans in regard to his availability for the rest of the season.
And lastly, he boosted his South Atlantic League batting average by going 1-for-1 with a walk and a sacrifice fly during the R-Braves’ 2-0 victory over the Kannapolis Intimidators.
“Hey, I am hitting .333 in the South Atlantic League,” joked Jones while addressing reporters in the Rome clubhouse.
In his two games with the R-Braves, the former NL MVP went 1-for-3 with two walks and one RBI.
More importantly, he looked to be at 100 percent as he recovers from recent knee surgery, and he declared himself ready to rejoin the big-league Braves.
“I don’t know what more I can do to prove I’m ready to go,” Jones said. “I know everyone is kind of skeptical, (but) I have no limitations.”
Jones — who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on July 9 for a torn meniscus — played third base for five innings Sunday before being replaced in the top of the sixth. He served as Rome’s designated hitter during Saturday’s game.
“It was good to get out there and play defense,” Jones said. “I hated DH-ing last night. It was hard to do. I was in the flow of the game today. I had a lot better at-bats.”
Jones said he hopes to be activated tonight when the Braves host the Pirates at Turner Field.
His appearance Sunday at SMS drew a crowd of 2,244 — which isn’t a huge number, but is certainly bigger than it would have normally been on this sweltering day at the ballpark.
The victory was fueled by the dominating work of Rome starter Gary Moran (4-1), who allowed four hits over 7 1-3 scoreless innings.
Moran, who retired 15 straight hitters over one stretch, finished with one walk and three strikeouts while lowering his ERA to 3.11.
Gus Schlosser worked the final two innings to complete the shutout and earn his fourth save.
Offensively, Jones and Chris Garcia drove in one run each in the bottom of the fifth, representing the game’s only scoring.
Jones was credited with the game-winning RBI for his sacrifice fly, which broke a scoreless tie.
Batting with the bases loaded, he sent a deep drive to right field that chased Kannapolis’ Dusty Harvard to the edge of the warning track, where he made the catch.
Jones’ contributions enabled the R-Braves to improve to 4-1 on the homestand, and post their seventh win in the past nine games overall.
Beginning tonight, Jones is hoping to contribute for the big-league Braves.
“I got everything accomplished that I wanted to get accomplished (while in Rome),” Jones said. “I’m ready.”
“Nobody knows my body like me,” Jones said. “The last time I did this surgery I was out 16 days. Tomorrow will be 16 days. I actually played two rehab games (this time). Last time I didn’t play any.”
Jones worked out with the team before the game, saying he fielded roughly 40 ground balls. During the game, he made a nice play to his left on the only ball that was hit to him.
Jones said he didn’t necessarily want go on a rehab assignment this weekend, but said “sometimes you’ve got to tow the party line.”
The Rome club, of course, was glad to have him.