B.J. Upton now targeting mid-April return from back injury

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B.J. Upton will begin the season on the disabled list due to back soreness stemming from his March 14 collision with Desmond Jennings, but said yesterday that he’s “shooting for” returning during the Rays’ April 10-19 road trip.

Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Upton no longer feels sore the day after throwing and running, which the center fielder called “a good sign.”

However, according to Topkin because Upton has only played in one minor-league game since the collision three weeks ago he’ll need a significant number of at-bats before coming off the disabled list is an option.

Until then Jennings, who apparently got the better end of the collision, will take over as the Rays’ starting center fielder. Upton has played at least 144 games in each of the past four seasons.

Video: Ramon Torres hits little league home run in first at-bat of season

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images
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The Royals recalled infielder Ramon Torres from Triple-A Omaha on Saturday. He didn’t get into a game until starting Thursday night’s game against the Rangers, batting ninth.

In the top of the second inning, facing Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Torres laced a single up the middle. Center fielder Delino DeShields charged in on it, attempting to keep Ryan Goins at second base, but the ball went right past his glove, through his legs, and nearly trickled all the way to the warning track. Goins scored easily and Torres was waved home, too. He managed to narrowly beat the throw, touching home plate with his left hand on a head-first slide.

The play was officially scored a single and a three-base error. Torres wasn’t credited with an RBI on the play. But at least the Royals got two runs out of it.