Bradley Jr.'s wild week improves with 2 hits, RBI

Bradley Jr.'s wild week improves with 2 hits, RBI
April 4, 2014, 12:45 am
Share This Post

BALTIMORE - Jackie Bradley Jr. had a week that he won't soon forget.

Last Friday, he found that he had lost the starting center fielder's job to Grady Sizemore. Two days later, he learned he would start the season in the big leagues after all, thanks to a hamstring injury to Shane Victorino.

Then, on Opening Day, he took a called third strike from Orioles' closer Tommy Hunter, leaving the potential tying run in scoring position.

Then, given his first start of the young season Thursday night, Bradley made the most of the opportunity. He collected two hits, scored a run and knocked in another.

The highlight of the night for Bradley came in the fourth. After beating out an infield hit to lead off the inning, Bradley remained there following two flyouts.

David Ortiz then dropped a blooper into shallow left, and with two outs, Bradley took off and never slowed, scoring all the way from first when the ball kicked away from Cruz.

"With two outs, he was on the move,'' said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's got very good instincts and there was really no hesitation on his part. Once Cruz dove for the ball and it got away from him, there was no hesitation on his part.
It was a good, heads-up play.''

"I got a great jump,'' said Bradley, "and I saw Nelson try to make a diving play and after that, I kind of put my head down. I knew it was going to be close, so I kept booking and [I scored] standing up. I was going to attempt [to score] the whole way.

"If [third-base coach Brian Butterfield] had stopped me, I might have still gone to try to push it.''

If nothing else, after what had happened earlier in the week, it gave Bradley a sense of satisfaction to contribute.

"It's good,'' he said. "Definitely, being able to take advantage of the opportunities [is good] when they're given to you. Today was a good day. I focused on today, and now today's over with.''