BOSTON — Jackie Bradley Jr. showed on one defensive play Thursday why the Red Sox are willing to live with his offensive struggles.
Bradley made an awesome catch and an even better throw to complete a double play in the seventh inning of the Red Sox’s 5-2 win over the Cleveland Indians at Fenway Park. It was a special play that few other outfielders across Major League Baseball could make.
Michael Bourn drilled a ball toward the left-center field gap with one out. Bradley, who has shown his tremendous range quite often this season, raced over to make a great running catch on the warning track. The 24-year-old then recognized he had a chance to double-up Mike Aviles at first base, and he unleashed an absolute missile that Mike Napoli fielded on one hop to complete the double play.
“To one-hop the first baseman when he’s got his back away from the play, to turn and fire a strike, an impressive play all the way around,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said after the game.
Bradley credited his long toss regimen for building his strong arm.
“I feel like I can throw with the best of them,” Bradley said.
Evidently, he can.