D-backs' Upton turns boos to cheers with one swing of the bat
With Chris Young standing on second and Aaron Hill on first, the Diamondbacks right fielder crushed a 3-0 pitch from Jason Vargas onto the concourse in left-center, giving the D-backs an 8-5 lead and the 24-year-old something to smile about.
"To get a big hit for the team felt good," Upton said, noting he'd been grinding all season.
Upton went 2-for-4 on the afternoon, raising his batting average to .258 while delivering the big hit for seemingly the first time all year.
The homer led to a chorus of cheers from Diamondbacks fans, which was a far cry from the boos he heard the night before, after the All-Star struck out three times -- including once with the bases loaded and two outs.
"I've been booed before, I know how to handle it," Upton said. "It's happened a couple of season where I started out slow, and that's a part of the game.
"Obviously they're not happy and I'm not happy."
At least for one day, though, everyone was happy. Upton got the big hit, the Diamondbacks got an important win and the fans had plenty to cheer about.
Even if, upon returning to the dugout after the homer, Upton's teammates didn't say a word.
"I'm thinking it was a good 15 seconds," he said of the silent treatment. "It might be a record."
For a player like Upton, who's season has not come close to living up to expectations, silence is certainly better than boos.
Which, he hopes, will not come back anytime soon.
"I've got to give them something to cheer about," he said. "I haven't given them much to cheer about."
Maybe that's about to change. Or maybe not. The Diamondbacks are off Thursday, and when they get back on the field Friday to take on the Cubs they will do so in front of a large (and boisterous) contingent of Cubs fans, most of whom are certain to boo Upton.
But the guess here is that will be just fine with him.
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