Bradley Jr. continues to get on base for Sox

Bradley Jr. continues to get on base for Sox
April 9, 2014, 10:45 pm
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BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr.'s coming out party for the 2014 season didn't stop at the series opener with Texas on Monday.

That night, a 5-1 Red Sox victory, Bradley had three hits, two RBI, scored a run, and made two athletic catches in right field.

After he had two more hits and drove in two more runs in Boston's 10-7 loss on Tuesday, he had another impressive performance in his team's 4-2 series-finale win over the Rangers on Wednesday.

The rookie outfielder had three walks in his only three at-bats and scored twice. He got a chance to show off his strong arm -- once to help hold a first-inning Shin-Soo Choo double from becoming a triple, once in an unsuccessful bid to catch Elvis Andrus scoring on a sac fly in the eighth inning -- and he sparked Boston's eighth-inning rally with a leadoff walk.

"I definitely wanted to see some pitches," Bradley said of his last at-bat against Texas reliever Alexi Ogando, "especially because he got behind early so I definitely wanted to make him work a little bit, try to see if I could get him to labor. I was able to battle back and work a walk."

Bradley's on-base percentage this season is now up to .478, and he feels as though he has a strong command of the strike zone.

For him, walking three times, making the pitcher "labor," as he put it, is equally satisfying as getting a few hits in a given game.

"Definitely. That means I've made the pitcher work a little bit," he said. "Maybe I didn't get any hits that day, but I know I've made him throw pitches, get deep into counts, and [I'm] allowing other teammates to see the repertoire that the pitcher has."

It's unclear how much time Bradley has left in the majors. He was called up before the start of the regular season when Shane Victorino hit the disabled list with a strained hamstring.

Victorino began baseball activities on Wednesday. There is no set timetable for his return to the lineup, but he is scheduled to come off of the 15-day DL next week.

When Victorino does return, Bradley may be the player returned to Pawtucket.

But given the rookie's play -- he's 6-for-14 (.429) over his last four games with two doubles, four RBI, three runs and three walks -- he's making strong case to retain his spot on the roster.