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Upton returns, hopes to end slump

Justin Upton is in the lineup Friday against the Oakland Athletics, his first game back after being benched by manager Kirk Gibson.

Upton will bat third between left fielder Jason Kubel and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

The outfielder missed three of the last five games due to a slump in which he only recorded two runs and four hits in 25 plate appearances.

Fox Sports Arizona play-by-play announcer Daron Sutton joined Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Friday to discuss what to look for in Upton’s return to the lineup.

“Justin’s a good kid,” said Sutton. “It’s humbling to be the best player on the team and then your team plays their best baseball without you. I think he’ll respond in the affirmative.”

Sutton also described the signs that show when a slump is over, especially for a player of Upton’s potential. “The focus that goes into a long at-bat and the focus that goes into a situational at-bat, his reaction to specific situations and his performance where it’s obvious what he needs to do to move a runner or two.

“He’s more skilled to execute that anyone in the dugout.”