As expected the Rays have activated B.J. Upton from the disabled list and the center fielder will make his season debut tonight after sitting out the first 13 games with a back injury.
Upton, who suffered the injury in a March 14 collision with Desmond Jennings, went just 3-for-21 (.143) during a seven game minor-league rehab assignment.
Jennings has filled in for Upton as the everyday center fielder, but now he’ll shift back to left field and Matt Joyce will move to right field with Ben Zobrist likely seeing more time as a second baseman.
Stephen Vogt, a 27-year-old career minor leaguer who went 0-for-13 in his first taste of the majors, was optioned back to the minors to make room for Upton.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.