B.J. Upton doubled in each of his first two at-bats Thursday night in the second of three scheduled games in Triple-A Gwinnett as he nears completion of his minor league rehabilitation assignment. He doubled and scored in his first at-bat against Charlotte and drove in two runs with a double in his second.

The reports were already good from Wednesday night manager Fredi Gonzalez said after Upton went 0-for-3 with a strikeout and played five innings in center field against Charlotte.
“For the first time in two weeks facing live pitching the at-bats were good” Gonzalez said. “He’ll go again (Thursday and Friday) and we’ll check with him and see if he needs a couple more days more at-bats before we bring him up here.”

Entering Thursday the Braves had gone 10-5 in 15 games since Upton went on the DL and their lineup has been clicking to the tune of 29 runs in the first three games of the Rockies series. Gonzalez was asked if that kind of production complicates his decision on whether and where to play Upton when he returns. Upton has hit .177 on the season and while showing signs of breaking out at times was hitting .176 (6-for-34) for the month when he strained his adductor (groin) muscle on July 12 against the Reds.

“No” Gonzalez said. “The No. 1 thing for us is to make sure he’s healthy and make sure he’s ready to come back. That’s the No. 1 thing and when all those things are in place then we’ll figure something out. Something will happen you know how that is.”
Jordan Schafer is expected to join Gwinnett on Saturday to begin his own minor league rehabilitation assignment. The speedy backup outfielder has been out since June 26 with the exception of a couple of pinch-hit at-bats because of a stress fracture in his right ankle. He wasn’t showing any ill effects as he raced around the bases during batting practice Thursday.