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Braves Reserve Fielder DeRosa Hurts Knee

September 26, 2004

ATLANTA (AP) _ The Braves likely lost reserve infielder Mark DeRosa for the rest of the season after he injured his right knee trying to make a throw in Atlanta’s 1-0 win over Florida on Saturday night.

DeRosa started at shortstop as the Braves rested most of their regulars, one night after clinching their 13th straight division title.

In the sixth, Florida pitcher Carl Pavano hit a high chopper into the hole, the ball barely getting over the glove of leaping third baseman Chipper Jones.

DeRosa caught the ball barehanded but landed awkwardly on his right leg as he turned to throw. He collapsed to the grass, writhing in pain and holding his knee, and had to be taken off the field on a cart.

The initial diagnosis was a torn anterior cruciate ligament, which would require surgery and keep DeRosa out until next season.

``He’s been the hard-luck guy all year,″ manager Bobby Cox said. ``He said it felt like it exploded. He’s out. It’s not good.″

DeRosa will undergo an MRI on Monday, but the Braves are resigned to being without him for the playoffs. They will likely have to carry .147-hitting Wilson Betemit on their playoff roster as a backup shortstop.

DeRosa began the season as the Braves’ starting third baseman. Struggling at the plate and in the field, he was benched when Chipper Jones moved back to third from the outfield.

Still, DeRosa played a valuable role off the bench, capable of playing second, third or shortstop. He was hitting .239 with three homers and 31 RBIs.

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