Bradley Jr. parks one, takes another off the nose

Bradley Jr. parks one, takes another off the nose
June 1, 2014, 12:45 am
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Jackie Bradley Jr. takes a ricochet off the face Saturday against the Rays.

(USA Today Sports Images)

BOSTON - Jackie Bradley Jr. is going to need some ice - and some more gauze.

He was still bleeding when speaking with reporters after the Red Sox 7-1 win over the Rays Saturday night.

That came courtesy of a baseball to the nose.

The ball caught Bradley Jr.'s face in an attempt at a leaping grab against the Green Monster during the 8th inning. After just missing Bradley Jr.'s glove, the ball bounced off the Monster and directly into Bradley Jr.'s nose.

Ouch.

"All ball, no wall," he said of the cause of pain.

"I didn't think I broke it at first. Blood started coming out right away so I just figured I gashed it. Like it just got cut open or something. Off the bat I felt like I knew I had it. Like I was just trying to time it up. I think it just got over my glove and by that time it was already ricocheting back. I wish I could have kept zeroes on the board for them."

It ended up being an inside-the-park home run for Kevin Kiermaier. Bradley Jr. fell to the ground in pain and Jonny Gomes wasn't close enough to get to it in time. Sox trainers came racing out to Bradley Jr. to make sure he wasn't seriously hurt.

He would be OK; the nose wasn't broken. In fact, he stayed in the game. They shoved some gauze up in his nose to stop the bleeding (temporarily, anyways) and he toughed it out.

"They didn't want me to come out of the game," Bradley Jr. said. "They asked me if I was alright. I told them I was and asked them how close I was to it. That was my first question. They thought I was pretty close. They said it looked like it hit off my glove, but I don't think I got glove on it quite yet. Wall straight to face."

But it wasn't all pain for Bradley Jr. in this one. In fact, he had plenty of reason to be in good spirits.

Bradley Jr. crushed his first home run of the season over - yes, over - the Red Sox bullpen in right center field in the 5th inning.

The two-run homer gave the Red Sox a 7-0 lead, and that was more than enough insurance to seal the deal.

"Good swing on a pitch from Ramos to hit it out of the ballpark," Farrell said. "And more than anything, just over the last 10 days or so just seeing he, Xander [Bogaerts], and Brock [Holt] really start to feel comfortable and confident at the major league level."

It was Bradley Jr.'s fourth career home run and first off a lefty. It was also his first home run in 170 at-bats dating back to Sept. 22, 2013.

"Things are starting to click," Bradley Jr. said. "I'm feeling good at the plate. Seeing pitches. I'm putting together some quality at-bats."

As far as which thing he's going to think about tonight - the ball to the face, or the ball over the Sox bullpen - he couldn't exactly say.

"I don't know. I'm still not even thinking straight right now. A lot of pressure up in here," he said pointing to his nose.