Now Commenting On:

J. Upton out of starting lineup with sore back

Left fielder hit by pitch two innings after collision on rundown Saturday

J. Upton out of starting lineup with sore back play video for J. Upton out of starting lineup with sore back

ATLANTA -- Justin Upton did not start in left field Sunday when the Braves looked to sweep the Cubs and take some momentum with them as they head to the West Coast.

As expected, the Braves' All-Star left fielder, who left Saturday night's 2-0 victory with a lower back muscle contusion after getting hit in the back by a Jeff Samardzija fastball in the sixth inning, got the homestand finale off. The combination of the tagging out of Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo, who has an inch and 35 pounds on the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Upton, in the wild 9-6-3-4-6-3-6-7 fourth-inning rundown, then getting hit with the 94-mph fastball two innings later, plus the early start was too risky.

"With a short turnaround, we'll probably let him rest," manager Fredi Gonzalez said following Saturday's game. "Hopefully, it doesn't materialize into anything more than a sore back."

Not helping matters is the Braves' cross-country flight to the West Coast, where they'll begin a three-game series with San Francisco on Monday.

Ryan Doumit, who had his first game-winning hit as a Brave on Saturday night with a pinch-hit RBI double in the seventh, made his third start of the season in left field Sunday and batted sixth.

Entering Sunday, Upton led the Braves with nine homers and his 19 RBIs were one off the pace of team leader Freddie Freeman. Upton's been especially lethal at Turner Field, where he had blasted seven of his homers, the most home round-trippers of any player in the Majors, and was hitting .371, the sixth-best home average in the National League -- tied with Rizzo.

Jon Cooper is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español