B.J. inches closer with first rehab game under belt

B.J. inches closer with first rehab game under belt

ATLANTA -- B.J. Upton went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in his first rehab start for Triple-A Gwinnett on Wednesday, leaving the center fielder with two more games in the Minors before he is slated to rejoin a Braves offense in the midst of its most productive week of the season.

"I got a little side-line from [Gwinnett manager] Randy Ready, and the at-bats were OK," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "For the first time in two weeks facing live pitching, the at-bats were good."

Upton has been sidelined since July 12 with a right adductor muscle strain he sustained diving for a line drive in the outfield. He tracked down four fly balls without incident over six innings in center during Gwinnett's 2-1 loss.

After a bounce-back June that showed signs of recovery from his prolonged slump at the plate to open the season, Upton hit .176 with 14 strikeouts in the first 10 games of July before his injury. Gonzalez said that the decision on how to slot Upton back into a red-hot lineup will come when it comes.

"The No. 1 thing for us is to make sure he's healthy and make sure he's ready to come back, that's the No. 1 thing," Gonzalez said. "When all those things are in place, then we'll figure something out. Something will happen, you know how that is."

Upton reversed his fortunes at the plate early on in his second rehab start, doubling in his first two at-bats in Thursday night's game and coming around to score each time.

Eric Single is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.