Arizona Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson has benched the struggling Justin Upton for three of the last five games, and it may only be a coincidence his squad has won each contest Upton has sat out.
Whatever the reason, Arizona is hot.
The Diamondbacks seek their fifth win in their last six contests in Friday night's opener of a three-game set with the visiting Oakland Athletics, who are coming off their first series victory in a month.
Gibson maintains the recent scratches are simply to help Upton, who has called at least one of the nights off "unproductive."
Upton, 4 for 28 in his last seven games to drop his average to .243, went 0 for 4 in his most recent action in Monday's 4-0 loss to Colorado. Arizona (27-30) beat the Rockies by a combined 16-1 Tuesday and Wednesday.
"He's a very important part of our team, we all know that, and we're going to try to get him back on track," Gibson said.
It's unclear if Upton will be in the lineup Friday, though it seems safe to say Paul G...