BOSTON -- B.J. Upton was not in the starting lineup in Tuesday night's 8-5 loss to the Red Sox, but Rays manager Joe Maddon said the move was not made as a disciplinary action.
"I just did not want to start him tonight based on a lot of different items that I'm looking at," Maddon said. "Often times, I don't start somebody. A day off after a day off is part of the reason. I just chose not to start him tonight. But he's definitely available for the game."
That proved to be the case, as Upton entered as a pinch-hitter in the eighth and tripled, then trotted out to center field for the ninth.
Upton and Evan Longoria had words during Sunday's loss to the D-backs after Upton did not run hard after a ball hit to the outfield.
"We've had a lot of conversations lately," Maddon said. "We had one after the game [Sunday]. We had one yesterday and also today. We had some wonderful conversations -- very frank. I just wanted to share with him some of my past experiences as a young man and as a manager today.
"He's a wonderful young man. That's the thing I don't want to get lost in all of this. B.J. is really, really one of my favorite people. This is a good guy. And I think sometimes it's interpreted the other way. [There's] not a malicious bone in his body -- wonderful young man, we've talked things through and everything is fine."
Upton said before the game he is ready to put the incident behind him and move on.
"I'll be ready to come off the bench," Upton said. "I'll be ready to go -- no big deal."
Upton would not go into details about his conversation with Maddon, noting only: "[We] just cleared the air. We both came to an agreement and we'll just move on."
Upton did speak to the team prior to the game.
"He just apologized, that's it," Carl Crawford said. "It's cool."