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Tampa Bay Rays-Arizona Diamondbacks game features first meeting of Upton brothers, B.J. and Justin

D’backs rightfielder Justin Upton, left, and Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton played for the first time against each other.

DIRK SHADD | Times

D’backs rightfielder Justin Upton, left, and Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton played for the first time against each other.

ST. PETERSBURG — The excitement of Friday's first-ever meeting of the Upton brothers had been building since Justin first got a peek at the schedule in September and saw his Diamondbacks' matchup with B.J.'s Rays. It culminated Friday when 65 friends and family members — wearing gear for one or the other or, in the case of mom, Yvonne, a custom-made split jersey for both — settled into Tropicana Field.

"I've been telling people if Justin robs B.J. or B.J. robs Justin, I think it'll be a little fussing at home when they come home for the offseason," father Manny said. "So it'll be like playing in the front yard again."

Yvonne even made a mother-knows-best pre-emptive strike: "I told them they can't hit a ball near each other."

Until Friday, the yard of their Virginia home was the only place they played with or against each other. Both said they were looking forward to the meeting as major-league outfielders. B.J., 25, was in center and went 0-for-2; Justin, 22, was in right and went 2-for-3.

"It's just more or less come out and have fun and play in front of your family," B.J. said. "We'll try to put on a show for them and make everybody happy."

Said Justin: "It's something that we hoped would happen one day, and now it's here, so we're having fun with it."

Tampa Bay Rays-Arizona Diamondbacks game features first meeting of Upton brothers, B.J. and Justin 06/25/10 [Last modified: Saturday, June 26, 2010 12:22am]
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