Baby’s good, flight’s delayed: B.J. scratched from Braves lineup

PHOENIX – After traveling home to Tampa for the birth of his second child Thursday, B.J. Upton was scratched from the Braves lineup for Friday night's series opener against the Diamondbacks when his commercial flight to Phoenix was delayed.

Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said Upton’s flight had been scheduled to land earlier in the afternoon but was delayed until about 5:30 p.m., and he didn’t want the center fielder to have to rush straight from the airport to the game.

Jordan Schafer replaced Upton in center field and was eighth in the batting order, with shortstop Andrelton Simmons moving up from eighth to Upton’s usual second spot in the order.

“The plane got delayed. Nothing he could control,” said Gonzalez, who made the lineup change at about 3:30 p.m., in time to let Schafer know before the bench player could do the extra running he does most days when he’s not in the lineup. It was only the sixth start of the season for Schafer, all in center field.

Upton’s brother, left fielder Justin Upton, said B.J.’s girlfriend and their baby, Myla, were doing well. It’s the couple’s second child, and Justin was excited about being a two-time uncle and seeing the baby.

“It’s cool,” he said. “But us being on the road I probably won’t get a chance to meet her probably for the whole month of June. We’re only home six days (all month). I’m looking forward to meeting her.”