Monday, July 18, 2011

Upton trying to crack season-worst slump

By Anthony Fenech / | 07/18/11

PHOENIX -- Monday was "No Media Day," Justin Upton said with a smile.

And he wasn't kidding.

The D-backs right fielder wasn't in a talking mood before a hitter's meeting prior to the start of a four-game series with the Brewers. The Dodgers held Upton hitless in 11 at-bats over the weekend.

"He was on fire," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson. "Not many guys do that all year long, but he's still very dangerous."

On July 5, Upton hit a solo home run off Monday's starter, Randy Wolf, in a 7-3 victory over Milwaukee. He scored three runs in that series and has five career home runs against the Brewers.

But his batting average has dropped 25 points after it hit a season-high .306 on June 27, and the five-game stretch without a hit -- he finished Monday's 3-0 win in an 0-for-18 dip -- is his longest all season.

Still, Gibson has no worries about the two-time All-Star, who is hitting .281 on the season with 15 home runs, 46 RBIs and 14 stolen bases.

"Hitting, it comes and it goes," Gibson said. "The thing about our team, I don't think we rely on one guy. It seems there can always be somebody in our lineup that can do damage.

"That's kind of the way we're constructed."

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