ATLANTA -- The Atlanta Braves hoped to have shortstop Andrelton Simmons back in the lineup Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
It didn't happen.
"He came out today and it was a little bit sore," manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Simmons' sprained left ankle.
Now the target date for the Gold Glove winner's return is Wednesday night for the third game of the four-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field.
The Braves, who have played a man short for a full week, need Simmons back in the lineup.
The infield defense is shaky in his absence, and the Braves can't afford to give the opposition extra opportunities with both their offense and pitching having more downs than ups recently.
Simmons, who is batting .249, sprained his ankle accidentally stepping on the third base bag in Seattle on Aug. 5. The Braves' training staff is trying to get him healthy as fast as possible.
"Our medical team wanted to give him another day," said Gonzalez, who at least had Simmons available off the bench if necessary for the first time Tuesday.
Emilio Bonifacio and Ramiro Pena are filling in at shortstop for Simmons, each starting three games. Bonificio went 0-for-4 and committed an error Tuesday in the Braves' 4-2 loss to the Dodgers.