Upton has three RBIs in Tampa Bay win
Upton had three RBIs, including a go-ahead two-run single in the eighth, to help the Rays beat the Seattle Mariners 5-4 on Wednesday night.
The center fielder, who has struggled this year after hitting seven homers and driving in 16 runs during the 2008 postseason, ended the game by taking away an extra-base hit from pinch hitter Bill Hall(notes) with a leaping catch at the wall.
“It’s all about confidence. He’s a young man, his confidence is going to come back and when his confidence comes back you’re going to see him doing those kind of things on a more regular basis,” Tampa Bay manager Joe Maddon said.
Hall was impressed by Upton’s catch.
“He’s an unbelievable player that makes plays like that all the time,” Hall said. “I guess I just need to hit it out of his reach.”
Upton is hitting just .237 with 10 homers and 48 RBIs this season. He has five RBIs the past two games after driving in three runs over the previous 22 games.
Akinori Iwamura(notes) had two RBIs for the Rays, who are 6-3 since an 11-game losing skid. The defending AL champions, eliminated from playoff contention Tuesday, need to win four of their final 10 games to record a second-ever over .500 season.
“This hasn’t gone the way we wanted it to all year,” Upton said. “I’m not so much worried about me, just as a team trying to finish strong.”
“It was one of those games that we played good baseball throughout the first five innings,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said.
NOTES: Upton has six hits in 11 at-bats over the last three games. … Suzuki went 2 for 4 and tied George Burns for 247th place on all-time list with 2,018 hits. He also matched his 2008 hit total of 213. … Seattle 1B Russell Branyan(notes) (back) took 35 swings off a tee. He might return to the lineup next week. … Davis held Seattle DH Ken Griffey Jr.(notes) hitless in three at-bats, including two strikeouts.