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Braves' B.J. Upton trying hard to shake slump

As younger brother Justin is surrounded by the media after another big game, B.J. Upton is ignored as he sits at the neighboring locker.

There hasn't been much positive for him to talk about this season and that wasn't supposed to be the case after the center fielder signed a five-year contract worth $75.2 million to leave Tampa Bay for the Braves.

Now the only questions are about his struggles, which seem to get worse and worse.

B.J. snapped an 0-for-16 streak with a single on Saturday against the Dodgers, but he was out of the lineup the next day as Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez gave the start to Jordan Schafer instead.

B.J. returned for Monday's 5-1 victory over the Twins, but went 0-for-2.

Upton is hitting a dismal .143 and he had been in that range most of the season. He hadn't hit a homer since April 23 and had just one multi-hit game since April 18.

No wonder that slump-ridden hitter had become a very high-priced No. 8 hitter.

So what's wrong? At the plate, Upton appears completely lost most of the time.

The Braves have tinkered with his foot placement and he is a regular at extra hitting sessions. But he hasn't been able to take the things he's worked on into games.

Upton struck out 53 times in his first 38 games and had just seven extra-base hits and six RBIs. His slash line was a dismal .237/.239/.476.

For every cheer for Justin Upton, there is a boo for B.J. And the booing is getting longer and louder at Turner Field.

"I'm trying, man," B.J. said. "I'll get out of this. But it's tough."

Player notes

-- 2B Dan Uggla switched to a heavier bat before Monday's game and produced his first home run since May 8 in Cincinnati. Uggla was hitless in six at-bats in the last series against the Dodgers and was given Sunday off. His three-run homer in the first inning was only his second of the season with a runner on base. Against Twins RHP Mike Pelfrey, Uggla has hit .406 (13-for-32) with 11 RBIs.

-- RHP Tim Hudson (4-3, 5.12) is trying to break a two-game losing streak and keep his perfect record (3-0) intact at Turner Field. Over the last two games, Hudson has allowed 11 runs and 16 hits in 8.2 combined innings against the Giants and Diamondbacks. Hudson is 6-3 with a 2.13 ERA in 14 career starts against the Twins.

-- C Brian McCann did not start on Monday night, but he doesn't want to miss a chance to hit against Twins starter Mike Pelfrey. McCann is hitting .462 (18-for-39) with eight doubles and 10 RBIs. McCann is batting .229 with 10 RBIs since he returned from the DL.

-- LF Justin Upton had his seventh multi-hit game of the season on Monday. He went 2-for-4, his best effort since a four-hit effort at Arizona on May 13. Upton lifted his average to .280.