Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Tampa Bay Rays' B.J. Upton hurts quad, isn't expected to miss time

ST. PETERSBURG — CF B.J. Upton left Sunday's game after the second inning with a slightly strained right quadriceps, but manager Joe Maddon said he doesn't believe the injury is serious, calling Upton day to day.

Maddon said he expects Upton to be back Tuesday when the team opens its nine-game road trip in Seattle.

Upton, who singled and stole a base, wasn't available for comment after the game. He was replaced by Gabe Kapler to start the third inning.

"I don't know the specific moment it happened," Maddon said. "He stole a bag and looked good, he came in, everything was fine. He sat down, got up and kind of felt it. And that's all I know. We'll check it out. I don't anticipate it'll be bad."

Upton missed 10 games in September and more than a month in 2007 with a strained left quadriceps. He was playing in his seventh game since getting activated from the disabled list after rehab from offseason left shoulder surgery. Upton, who is hitting .217 in his new leadoff role, has said he feels as though he's in the latter stages of spring training in terms of getting his timing at the plate.

Maddon had said during Upton's rehab that he was more concerned with Upton getting his legs ready for full-time action, which is why the Rays took their time in his recovery.

Switch up: Evan Longoria was originally slated to start at third Sunday, but after he tweaked his left foot while charging a slow roller Saturday night, Maddon decided to flip him and Willy Aybar, with Aybar at third and Longoria at DH. Maddon said Longoria tested the foot during pregame and is fine. Longoria went 0-for-4, snapping his 10-game hitting streak.

Gabe squared: The Rays had a scary moment late in the seventh inning, when their two Gabes — Kapler and RF Gabe Gross — collided while chasing down a fly ball in right-center. Kapler came up with the catch, with both players falling but getting up okay.

"I heard him, but I heard him a split second before we ran into each other," Gross said. "I'm just glad we caught it."

Bullpen blues: The Rays bullpen, one of the majors' best units last year (3.55 ERA), has struggled so far (5.59 ERA) and had another rough day Sunday. Lance Cormier (six hits, two runs), Dan Wheeler (three hits, three runs) and Troy Percival (two hits) combined to give up 11 hits and five runs in just 31/3 innings.

Wheeler (13.50 ERA) said the group will be fine, and he feels strong despite having two tough outings in a week, allowing four runs Tuesday and two homers Sunday. "I feel good right now," he said. "Stuff obviously hasn't gone too well, but there's no reason for it. I made two bad pitches (Sunday), and it seems like I'm getting hit right now. But for the most part, I feel strong."

Less is more: Maddon said that during the Rays' offensive struggles, some players have been "trying too hard," not working good at-bats as they usually do, which has resulted in too many fly balls and an over-reliance on home runs. Homers have accounted for 52.4 percent of the Rays' runs, a ratio Maddon said is not sustainable for a full season.

Utilityman Ben Zobrist has found success with the approach Maddon wants. Zobrist, who went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer Sunday, now has seven homers in his past 13 games and six in his past nine starts.

Zobrist said that after striking out twice he kept it simple in the seventh and hit an inside cutter from Gavin Floyd for a homer.

"Sometimes you have to go up there just trying to have a 'builder at-bat,' " he said. "That's when good things start happening, when you don't try to do too much and you just go up there and have a good at-bat overall."

Minor matters: OF Desmond Jennings had a huge night Saturday for Double-A Montgomery, going 5-for-6 with a triple, two runs and three RBIs.

Joe Smith can be reached at [email protected]

Tampa Bay Rays' B.J. Upton hurts quad, isn't expected to miss time 04/19/09 [Last modified: Monday, April 20, 2009 7:10am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Peter Budaj, Lightning lose to Devils in shootout; Nikita Kucherov scores

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — For Peter Budaj, Tuesday's season debut had a shaky start.

    The Lightning’s Vladislav Namestnikov, right, battles Damon Severson for the puck.
  2. Lightning's Steve Yzerman enjoying Nikita Kucherov's scoring run

    Lightning Strikes

    NEWARK, N.J. — If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Tampa Bay Lightning right wing Nikita Kucherov, of Russia, celebrates after scoring a goal on the New Jersey Devils during the second period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)
  3. Bucs journal: Offense needs to get off to a faster start


    TAMPA — The past two games have seen the Bucs offense muster furious rallies in the fourth quarter of losses, with 229 yards against the Patriots and a franchise-record 27 points against the Cardinals.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field before an NFL game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz., on Sunday, Oct. 15, 2017.
  4. NFL players, owners hold 'constructive' talks on issues


    NEW YORK — NFL players and owners met Tuesday to discuss social issues, a session Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross called "constructive" and Colts defensive back Darius Butler termed "positive."

    A coalition of advocacy groups 'take a knee' outside of a hotel where members the quarterly NFL league meetings are being held on Tuesday in New York City.  Owners, players and commissioner Roger Goodell are all expected to attend. The activists spoke of having solidarity with athletes and coaches around the country who have also kneeled in protest of racial injustice, especially in policing.
 [Getty Images]
  5. Lightning's Steve Yzerman: Nikita Kucherov 'wants to be great'


    If anyone knows what it is like to be as hot as Nikita Kucherov is right now, it's Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman.

    Nikita Kucherov joined Steve Yzerman, Mario Lemieux and Keith Tkachuk as the only players in the last 30 years to score a goal in each of his team's first six games.