Jackie Bradley Jr. Returns From Paternity Leave As Red Sox Face Blue Jays


BOSTON — The Red Sox’s newest father is ready to return to the diamond.

The Red Sox reinstated outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. from paternity leave Friday ahead of Boston’s series opener against the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park. He’ll get the start in center field and bat seventh.

The Red Sox optioned outfielder Rusney Castillo to Triple-A Pawtucket in a corresponding move.

It’s been a busy past few days for Bradley, who was named the American League’s Player of the Month for May on Thursday, the same day his wife, Erin, gave birth to their first child. The Red Sox had no trouble scoring in his absence, combining for 22 runs over their past three games, but went 1-2 in that stretch.

Bradley’s return bumps Chris Young out of the lineup, as Blake Swihart will get the start in left field and bat ninth.

Christian Vazquez will bat eighth and do the catching for Red Sox ace David Price, who is hoping to turn Boston’s pitching fortunes around after the club allowed 25 runs over its last two games. The Blue Jays will counter with knuckleballer R.A. Dickey.

Here are the full lineups for both teams.

RED SOX (32-22)
Mookie Betts, RF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Xander Bogaerts, SS
David Ortiz, DH
Hanley Ramirez, 1B
Travis Shaw, 3B
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
Christian Vazquez, C
Blake Swihart, LF

David Price, LHP (7-1, 5.11 ERA)

BLUE JAYS (29-26)
Jose Bautista, RF
Josh Donaldson, 3B
Edwin Encarnacion, DH
Michael Saunders, LF
Justin Smoak, 1B
Devon Travis, 2B
Kevin Pillar, CF
Darwin Barney, SS
Josh Thole, C

R.A. Dickey, RHP (2-6, 4.64 ERA)

Thumbnail photo via Tommy Gilligan/USA TODAY Sports Images

Thumbnail photo via Boston Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. (25) celebrates after hitting a solo home run during the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. The Red Sox won 7-2.

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