"There was never any doubt," Jones said during the clubhouse celebration. "We knew that last year was somewhat of a fluke."
Craig Kimbrel (3-1) worked a scoreless inning to help the Braves win their 22nd straight game started by Kris Medlen. The streak is the longest in the majors since the New York Yankees won 22 consecutive games started by Whitey Ford in 1950 and '53.
Returning to the postseason helps wipe away some of last season's frustration for the Braves, who blew an 8 1/2-game lead in the wild-card standings and finished September 9-18. They missed the playoffs after one of the biggest collapses in baseball history.
In other games *
At Houston, Jaime Garcia pitched seven sharp innings and Jon Jay drove in two runs to help the St. Louis Cardinals improve their playoff chances with a 4-0 victory over the Astros.
The Cardinals won their fourth straight and moved 4 1/2 games ahead of Milwaukee in the race for the second NL wild card.
* At Cincinnati, Johnny Cueto (19-9) pitched seven solid innings and Dioner Navarro knocked in two runs as the Reds stayed in the chase for the NL's top record by beating the Milwaukee Brewers, 4-2, after learning they'll be without their manager for the rest of the week.
Manager Dusty Baker met players before the game and revealed he suffered a ministroke in addition to being treated for an irregular heartbeat last week. The 63-year-old Baker said he could resume his role next Monday in St. Louis and into the playoffs. Until then, bench coach Chris Speier will manage the team.
* At New York, Pedro Alvarez and Garrett Jones each hit two-run homers to help lead the Pittsburgh Pirates over the Mets, 10-6.
The San Francisco Giants have no plans to bring back suspended outfielder Melky Cabrera for the postseason if the club is still playing when he is eligible to return.
Manager Bruce Bochy said he and general manager Brian Sabean plan to meet to finalize their 25-man roster for the best-of-five division series. Cabrera would be allowed to play in the NLCS if the Giants advance that far, but Bochy said they have no intention of adding him to the roster at any point in the postseason.
Cabrera was suspended last month for testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone.
* Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is brushing off criticism from reliever Heath Bell.
Speaking on Tuesday about the team's latest ordeal, Guillen said Bell is entitled to his opinion. But the manager added that he has received about 30 supportive messages from current players and those he managed with the Chicago White Sox from 2004-2011.
Guillen indicated that Bell has not fully accepted blame for his struggles this year.
Bell, who signed a three-year, $27 million contract with Miami to leave San Diego as a free agent last winter, lost his job as the Marlins' closer after posting an 8.47 ERA in his first 21 appearances.
During a radio interview Monday with Miami station WQAM, Bell said the Marlins need a manager "that everybody respects and looks up to."
Bell said before Tuesday's game against Atlanta that he did not intend to disrespect Guillen.
* The ex-wife of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt has filed a motion to set aside the couple's divorce settlement, claiming he committed fraud by vastly understating the team's value.
Jamie McCourt's attorney, Bertram Fields, told the Associated Press that attempts to modify what he called a "massive imbalance" in the settlement failed, forcing her to return to court.
The motion claims Frank McCourt misrepresented the couple's Dodger assets as worth less than $300 million before their divorce in 2010. The team sold in May 2012 for $2.15 billion to a group that includes former NBA star Magic Johnson.
A hearing has been scheduled for November.