Braves' Cox 'trying to give Francoeur another shot'

DENVER — Matt Diaz has been of the league's hottest hitters in recent weeks, and Jeff Francoeur has been one of the league's worst-hitting outfielders all season. But Francoeur was back in right field Thursday, his second consecutive start since Diaz ended a streak of five consecutive multi-hit games.

"Just trying to give Frenchy another shot at this thing," Cox said of the slumping Lilburn native, who was hitting .243 with five homers, 33 RBIs, and a .276 on-base percentage before Thursday.

Francoeur thanked Cox for the opportunity by going 3 for 4 with two RBIs on three doubles.

Chipper not ready

Chipper Jones missed his third consecutive start Thursday after testing his strained groin in early batting practice at Coors Field. He might miss most of all of the four-game series, but said he wasn't concerned about the injury lingering beyond the All-Star break.

"I took some swings in early batting practice," he said. "As long as I'm up there trying to hit singles, I'm OK. But when I tried to juice [the ball], I still felt it. We'll just take it day by day.

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