A threat to hit 400? Chipper Jones is already there.
The Atlanta slugger hit his 400th career home run last night and finished with four hits in a 7-5 victory over the visiting Florida Marlins, raising his major league-leading batting average to .418.
Jones came out of the dugout for a curtain call as fans cheered his milestone homer in the sixth inning. He became the third switch-hitter to reach 400 home runs, following Hall of Famers Mickey Mantle (536) and Eddie Murray (504).
"To be lumped in with those guys is what I'm shooting for," Jones said. "This is a step closer but still a long, long way from those guys. They set the bar really high."
Brian McCann gave the Braves a 6-5 lead in the fifth with a two-run shot. Yunel Escobar also connected.
Jones lifted his batting average from .409 to .418 by going 4-for-5 with singles in the first, third and eighth. He hit his 14th homer of the season about 10 rows deep into the rightfield seats with two outs in the sixth.
The last time a major leaguer was hitting .418 or better through games of June 5 was in 1994, when Paul O'Neill of the New York Yankees had a .430 average on that date, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
The last major leaguer to hit .400 for a season was Boston's Ted Williams, who batted .406 in 1941.
In other games:
* At San Diego, Mets reliever Scott Schoeneweis hit Padres leftfielder Paul McAnulty with the bases loaded to allow Scott Hairston to score the winning run in the bottom of the ninth and give the Padres a 2-1 win.
* At Pittsburgh, Paul Maholm (4-5) pitched eight strong innings, Jason Michaels hit a three-run homer and the Pirates beat the Houston Astros, 4-3.
Pittsburgh's Jason Bay added a run-scoring triple to break a 3-3 tie in the fifth.
* At Washington, Elijah Dukes hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the 10th inning as the Nationals defeated the St. Louis Cardinals, 3-2, to split a day-night doubleheader.
Dukes, who was 4-for-6 with four RBI and three runs scored, finished a double shy of the cycle.
In the opener, Todd Wellemeyer (7-1) won his fifth straight decision and Troy Glaus hit a two-run homer to lead the Cardinals to a 4-1 victory.
Albert Pujols added the first pinch-hit homer of his career to help lead St. Louis. Pujols, who was not in the starting lineup due to a strained left calf, batted for Wellemeyer in the seventh and connected off Joel Hanrahan. It was Pujols' 15th home run of the season.
* Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was suspended for four games and Colorado catcher Yorvit Torrealba was penalized three games following their tussle Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Both also were fined undisclosed amounts by Major League Baseball.
Both are appealing their suspensions, allowing them to play until their hearings are held.
* Tribune Company CEO Sam Zell says the company is pushing ahead with the sale of the Chicago Cubs and Wrigley Field and bidders should get the financial books within the week.
According to Zell, there's never been a better time to market the team and the ballpark with the Cubs in first place and driving record attendance. *