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Tigers' Upton is fine after being stepped on

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Lakeland, Fla. – A 10 mph wind blew steadily across the diamond from right field to left Wednesday. It played with pitchers’ off-speed pitches (like trying to hit a baby fade into a crosswind in golf) and it certainly messed with Anthony Gose trying to catch a pop fly in the second inning.

Nationals' Danny Espinoza hit a high fly ball to center field. Gose tracked it and tracked it as it blew toward left field. When he finally caught it, he was running in front of left fielder Justin Upton.

Upton gave way at the last instant, avoiding a serious collision, but Gose stepped on his left ankle, sending him to the ground in pain.

“The wind kept pushing it toward Upton and Gose kept chasing it toward Upton,” manager Brad Ausmus said. 

Upton was removed from the game as a precaution, but there was no cut and the Tigers medical staff determined there was no need for an X-ray. 

“We will check him out in the morning,” Ausmus said. “But we think he’s OK.”

Upton was scheduled to be the designated hitter Thursday in Clearwater. Ausmus said that could still happen depending on how the ankle feels.

Around the horn

Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez threw a 25-pitch live bullpen session (facing hitters) Wednesday morning. Ausmus said he threw all of his pitches and felt good. Barring any unforeseen discomfort, he will make his spring debut on Saturday against the Pirates in Lakeland.

…Right-handed reliever Alex Wilson (rotator cuff fatigue) is expected to do some light throwing Thursday.

Outfielder Justin Upton