BOSTON — Monday’s Red Sox-Oakland A’s game already was bordering on blowout territory when it entered the sixth inning. One swing of Jackie Bradley Jr.’s bat turned it into a full-blown rout.
Batting with the bases loaded and two men out in the sixth, the Red Sox center fielder got a hold of a two-strike curveball from A’s reliever John Axford and deposited it into the right field seats, giving Boston a nine-run lead in a game it would go on to win 14-7.
It was the first grand slam of Bradley’s professional career and his third home run in five games.
“It’s a lot of fun,” he said after the game. “First one, I think, in pro ball. It was a lot of fun to be able to get some runs for our team and ultimately win the ballgame.”
During his postgame meeting with reporters, Bradley wore a T-shirt with a picture of a cannon and the words “Run at your own risk” on it, likely a nod to his renowned defensive prowess in center field. But his most impressive attribute of late has been his production at the plate.
In addition to his slam, Bradley also knocked in additional two runs with a fourth-inning single and finished Monday night’s game 3-for-5 with six RBIs. He’s hit safely in 15 consecutive contests — the longest active streak in Major League Baseball — and owns a batting average above .300 (.303) for the first time since April 7.
“He’s in a strong run,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said Monday night. “And not only in terms of the number of base hits. He’s driving the ball consistently. (Monday was) a big night where he gets a couple of breaking balls up in the strike zone for a two-RBI single and then obviously the grand slam. Just a strong night offensively up and down the lineup, but in particular Jackie.”
The Red Sox’s 14 runs against the A’s were the most they’ve scored in a game this season.
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images
Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
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