After moving from the eighth in the batting order to seventh Tuesday, Braves center fielder B.J. Upton was bumped up to sixth in Wednesday’s series finale against the Padres. The center fielder was 8-for-31 (.258) with a double, two homers, eight walks and a .410 on-base percentage in 10 June games before Wednesday, after going 8-for-55 (.127) with one extra-base hits, six walks and 27 strikeouts in his previous 18 games, which dropped his average to .145 at the end of April. “You see some of the swings are getting better and better,” Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said, explaining the move Wednesday morning. “Also, to kind of move him up into a situation where it might free him up a little bit in baserunning. In the eight-hole sometimes you want to run but you’ve got that pitcher in there, so you don’t want to run (and risk making the last out of an inning).” Upton has just three stolen bases in six attempts in his first season with the Braves, after stealing more than 30 for the past five consecutive seasons with Tampa Bay, including 31 in 37 attempts in 2012.
B.J.’s uptick earns a move up batting order
Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Jun 13