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The Tigers benched Justin Upton on Thursday, the second of three planned off days


Outfielder Justin Upton was once again absent from the starting lineup for Thursday afternoon’s game against the Red Sox. Tigers manager Brad Ausmus plans to sit him for Friday’s game too in order to clear his head and “hit the reset button,” Mlive.com’s Evan Woodbery reports.

Upton, 28, has had a miserable first year in Detroit after signing a six-year, $132.75 million contract in January. He’s hitting .226/.281/.371 with 13 home runs and 46 RBI in 470 plate appearances. According to wRC+, an all-encompassing major league stat, Upton has offensively been 29 percent worse than a league-average hitter, by far the worst mark among any full season in his career.

That includes a particularly horrid stretch recently. As Woodbery notes, Upton has only one hit in his last 31 at-bats. Over his last 50 at-bats, he has only five hits and 15 strikeouts.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”