B.J. Upton notches 1,000th career hit
ATLANTA -- Jason Heyward teased B.J. Upton about his impending 1,000th career hit, joking that Upton would achieve the milestone on a bloop hit. Heyward was not far off as Upton reached the mark with an infield single on Saturday night at Turner Field.
Although Upton did not record his 1,000th the way he envisioned, he had no complaints following the Braves' 4-1 victory against the Reds.
"It's very similar to a bloop, but I'll take it," Upton said. "I'll take the 1,000."
Upton received a standing ovation after he hit a slow dribbler that eluded the glove of Cincinnati starter Mike Leake before bouncing off the left side of the mound, changing directions on charging shortstop Zack Cozart.
He also recorded his 999th hit with an infield single, beating out a throw by Reds third baseman Todd Frazier on a grounder down the foul line on Friday night.
"Any time you can stay around long enough to get 1,000 hits in the big leagues, that's pretty cool," Upton said.
Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez added: "There aren't very many people who have played this game a long time and got 1,000 hits. Good for him. Good for him to do it at home also."
Upton endured a frustrating beginning to his career as a Brave that saw him bat a career-worst .184 (72-for-391) with 151 strikeouts in the first season of a five-year contract worth $75 million.
When discussing his impending milestone before the game, Upton joked, "Unfortunately, it took a while to get there."
However, the tide has seemingly turned for Upton so far this year.
Since beginning the season in a 1-for-17 slump with no walks and 10 strikeouts, Upton is batting .246 (17-for-69) with nine walks and 17 strikeouts. He has hit safely in 13 of his past 17 games with a plate appearance.
Upton's decision to wear glasses inspires confidence he can potentially reach 2,000 at a pace a little more to his liking.
"I've felt pretty good the last week or so, so I don't know if the glasses had anything to do with it," Upton said. "But as far as vision-wise, they're definitely helping."
He plans to change from his standard glasses to a more baseball-friendly wraparound pair in the coming days. He also plans to get some prescription sunglasses.
Upton will stick with glasses moving forward because he does not want to wear contacts.
"On both sides of the ball, just seeing things a little bit clearer," Upton said. "My depth perception's a little bit better, so it was something I noticed last night after wearing them, and I decided to wear them today."