Tigers outfielder Justin Upton was benched for three days last week, an attempt by manager Brad Ausmus to change the downward momentum of the three-time All-Star’s season. He did not start on Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday, though he did enter Wednesday’s game as a defensive replacement and Thursday’s game as a pinch-runner.
Upton returned to the Tigers’ lineup on Saturday, going 2-for-4 with a double. On Sunday afternoon, in the series finale against the Red Sox, Upton went 2-for-4 with a pair of three-run homers. They weren’t cheapies, either; they were smoked. According to Statcast, the two dingers combined to travel 890 feet in projected distance.
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The Tigers won 10-5, keeping pace with the Indians who also won on Sunday. They’re seven games out of first place in the AL Central and three games out of the second AL Wild Card slot. A late season rebirth for Upton could be just what the doctor ordered for the Tigers.