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B. Upton ejected for arguing strike call

SAN FRANCISCO -- Braves center fielder B.J. Upton's frustration came to a boil when he was ejected for emphatically objecting to a called third strike in the sixth inning of Wednesday afternoon's 10-4 loss to the Giants at AT&T Park.

"It's not what I want to do," Upton said. "It's not really a good example for kids and it makes me look like a [jerk]. But at the same time, you come here and you grind every day, you work and you're trying to stay in [at-bats] and help your team win a ballgame. Things like that can boil over real quick."

Frustrated by a number of strike calls that went against him during the series, Upton blew off some steam when plate umpire Lance Barrett rung him up on a Juan Gutierrez curveball. The Braves outfielder immediately turned toward Barrett and offered some choice words that drew an ejection before he exited the batter's box.

"I think that was an accumulation of three days," Upton said. "It's not really what I want to do. It was just kind of a reaction."

After Upton continued to air out Barrett behind the plate, Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez came on the field to bring Upton back to the dugout. Gonzalez said he understood why his outfielder became frustrated by what occurred during the series.

When Upton arrived at the ballpark Wednesday, he was still frustrated about Ed Hickox's called third strike on an outside pitch that certainly missed the plate during the fourth inning of Tuesday night's game.

"I don't know how much of it is his fault," Gonzalez said. "I come back here and look at some of those pitches and they're not close."

Though he regularly disputes called strikes, Upton has said he has spent the past few years attempting to rid himself of a label he believes he got when he argued with umpires shortly after the Rays promoted him to the Major League level when he was just 19 years old in 2004.

"That's kind of been a goal of mine to not do that anymore," Upton said. "That's something I've really been working on the last couple of years and I really haven't said anything this year. This series, it just kind of got to the point where it just kind of happened."

Mark Bowman is a reporter for
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