CHICAGO (AP) -Tampa Bay rookie outfielder Elijah Dukes was back in the lineup Friday at Chicago after missing two games amid allegations that he threatened to kill his estranged wife and their two young children.
Dukes was in center field and batting leadoff as the Devil Rays opened a three-game series against the White Sox.
``I chose tonight because I felt it was time to move things along,'' manager Joe Maddon said. ``He's a member of this team. I thought about it a lot, talked to (executive vice president Andrew Friedman) about it a lot. I just want to get back to playing baseball and put this thing behind us.
``A lot of thought has gone into this,'' he continued. ``I won't deny that I've lost sleep over it because I have.''
Dukes declined comment before the game.
The St. Petersburg Times reported Wednesday that Dukes' estranged wife NiShea Gilbert filed for court protection after receiving a threatening message on her cell phone on May 2, as well as a text message that included a picture of a handgun. Dukes also threatened the children's safety in the phone message, which Gilbert played for the paper.
Gilbert, a middle school teacher, said Dukes showed up at her classroom on April 30 while her students were at lunch and threatened her.
Dukes was batting .231 with eight home runs and 13 RBIs entering Friday's game. Maddon said the Devil Rays have not discussed fining or suspending him.

Top MLB Public Bets

MLB Top Stories

Thumbnail Phillies vs. Dodgers Prediction Will the Los Angeles Dodgers and Philadelphia Phillies have a low-scoring battle when the two NL foes meet...
Thumbnail Rockies vs. Diamondbacks Prediction Will both offenses be on display tonight in Arizona when the Diamondbacks host the Rockies at 8:10PM ET?
Thumbnail Angels vs. Rangers Pick Can the Texas Rangers hold off the Los Angeles Angels when the two meet in Arlington tonight at 7:15PM ET?
Thumbnail Pirates vs. Marlins Prediction Will tonight's Pirates and Marlins game fall under the total when the teams clash tonight in Miami?
Thumbnail Padres vs. Giants Prediction Can the San Francisco Giants string together back-to-back wins when they host the San Diego Padres tonight at...

MLB Team Pages