B.J.'s home run was his first with the Braves, who signed him to a franchise record five-year, $75.25 million contract in November. Two innings earlier, he had notched his first hit with an infield single that snapped the 0-for-16 stretch that began his career in Atlanta.
"We're winning, and that's the main thing," B.J. said. "I'll get it together and start hitting the ball a little bit better. But overall, the goal is to win."
Upton is certainly not the first player to experience a slow start after signing a large contract the previous offseason. Even the calm, cool and collected Greg Maddux said he felt added pressure after he signed as a free agent with the Braves before the start of the 2003 season.
"His at-bats just kept getting better and better through the course of the week," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "I think after the chopper base hit, he got the curse off his back a little bit."
Simmons is expected to return to the lineup by Monday. At that point, B.J. will likely return to the lineup's fifth spot.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.