Detroit — Justin Upton, who through the month of June was the Tigers’ hottest hitter, was a late scratch from the lineup in Game 1 against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.
The Tigers said he was removed due to soreness in his right side. They didn’t specifically say it was an oblique issue.
“He did something to his side hitting in the cage before the game,” Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said after the Tigers won Game 1, 7-4. “He’s going to test it out in the cage between games to see if he can go.”
He could not. He was not in the starting lineup for Game 2, either.
J.D. Martinez, who was initially sitting out, was reinstated in the lineup for Game 1, taking Upton’s third spot in the batting order. Matt den Dekker, slated to start in right field, moved over to left. It was his first start since being called up from Toledo.
Martinez had a home run, single and walk. Den Dekker, busy with five put-outs in left, had a walk in five at-bats.
Andrew Romine got the start in left field in Game 2.
Upton reached base in 23 of the 25 games he played in June. He hit .305 with a .934 OPS, with seven doubles, six home runs and 27 RBIs in the month. The 27 RBIs were tied for second-most in the Major Leagues.