BOSTON — Jackie Bradley Jr.’s resurgence at the plate over the last month has been one of the most encouraging developments of the season for the Boston Red Sox.
Bradley, hitting from the eighth spot in the lineup, went 3-for-4 with two doubles, two runs scored and 2 RBI in Sunday’s 8-6 loss to the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park.
“He’s right where he needs to be. Jackie has worked very hard to get to this point and he deserves all the credit,” Red Sox manager Torey Lovullo said. “I know his last hit was a single to left field, which was a great job of hitting. Ball away from him, two strikes — very complete approach right now for Jackie.”
The Red Sox outfielder is batting .316 (18-for-57) with a .412 on-base percentage in August, and 11 of his last 12 hits have gone for extra bases. This is the kind of production the bottom of Boston’s lineup has been missing throughout the season.
Bradley now is hitting .250 on the season, which is the level a lot of people would like to see him at regularly.
The common criticism of Bradley always has been his ability to consistently hit major league pitching. His defense is Gold Glove-caliber and he runs the bases well, but it’s difficult for a manager to keep a guy in the lineup when he’s hovering just over .200 or even below that mark.
If Bradley is able to hit around the .250 mark and drive in runs, he could be a valuable member of the Red Sox lineup for the remainder of this season and into 2016.
“I feel pretty good,” Bradley said when asked about his confidence at the plate. “Obviously, we didn’t get the win that we wanted. That’s what everybody’s focused on right now, regrouping and getting ready for tomorrow.”
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