Upton’s status uncertain with bruised forearm
St. Petersburg, Fla. — The Tigers are down one outfielder.
They could be down two, at least for a game or two, if Justin Upton doesn’t shake off a bad contusion on his right forearm that came when he was clipped by shortstop Tim Beckham during Upton’s slide in the seventh inning of Tuesday’s game at Tropicana Field, which the Rays won, 5-1.
It came when Upton, who was doing his best to keep Beckham from wrapping up a double play, extended his right arm on Beckham’s relay to first following a grounder up the middle by Tyler Collins.
Upton took the brunt of Beckham’s delivery. And he had a sore arm afterward as proof.
“I was concerned about a break,” said Tigers manager Brad Ausmus, who learned later that X-rays were negative. “Looking at him (in the Tigers dugout), you could see he was reacting with pain.”
Upton left the game. And while Ausmus said he didn’t believe the injury was serious, he wasn’t sure his left fielder would be in Wednesday’s lineup against the Rays.
The Tigers, of course, have been playing without regular right fielder J.D. Martinez since he sprained his foot on March 18.
Welcome to Tropicana Field, JaCoby Jones.
The Tigers center fielder got an introduction to the dirty-white dome and steel rings that can make seeing a baseball a chilling adventure.
In the fifth inning, Corey Dickerson hit a high fly that disappeared, not only from Jones’ radar screen, but also from Collins’ sight in right.
Jones was able finally to locate it and snag the ball just before it plummeted to the turf.
“First time I experienced anything like that,” said Jones, the Tigers rookie who found that batting-practice drives offer little help in preparing for the way balls leave a bat and hang in the air during game situations.
“Me and T.C. (Collins) both lost out. Luckily, I just ran to a spot and picked it up.”