Los Angeles Angels

Justin Upton makes season debut for the Angels, homers on first pitch

Los Angeles Angels LF Justin Upton came off the IL on Monday and immediately homered on the first pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays

Los Angeles Angels left fielder Justin Upton didn’t take long to make an impact upon his return to the lineup on Monday.

The 31-year-old Upton had been on the 60-day IL for the entire season thus far while dealing with a turf toe injury, missing the Angels’ first 72 games of the season. Activated in time to make his season debut against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre on Monday, Upton came up for the first time to lead off the top of the second inning.

On the first pitch he saw from the Jays’ Edwin Jackson, Upton hit a 424-foot home run to center field to open the scoring for the Angels. It was just the beginning of a big inning for Los Angeles. Kole Calhoun followed with a home run, Mike Trout hit a two-run double and Shohei Ohtani added a three-run home run as the Angels ended up scoring seven runs to knock out Jackson and take a 7-1 lead as they currently play in the third inning. Upton later singled to left in his second at-bat of the inning.

To make room for Upton on the roster, the Angels sent Cesar Puello to the Minors. The 28-year-old rookie did an admirable job filling in for Upton, hitting .390 in 12 games.

Upton, a four-time All-Star, is in the second year of a five-year, $106 million contract he signed with the Angels after being acquired in a trade from the Detroit Tigers in August 2017. He hit 30 home runs a year ago, his first full season in Los Angeles.

Now in his 13th season in the big leagues, Upton has a career .268 average with 287 home runs and a .826 OPS. The Angels are currently 35-37 and trail the Houston Astros by 13 games in the AL West as they begin a four-game series in Toronto.

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