Red Sox Notes: Jackie Bradley Jr. Has Big Night In Win Over Angels

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The struggles Jackie Bradley Jr. has had at the plate hardly are a secret.

Bradley long has been a feast or famine hitter, with a majority of this season being more of the famine type. But that was far from the case for the second game in a row, as the Boston Red Sox center fielder went 3-for-4 with a home run, four RBIs and two runs scored in a 9-1 dismantling of the Los Angeles Angels.

Although Bradley has had his share of struggles, Sox manager Alex Cora has been adamant that oftentimes the 28-year-old is a victim of bad luck. He hits the ball hard with regularity, but many times it is in the direction of fielders.

But in Tuesday’s win at Fenway Park, Bradley showed the damage he can do when his hard contact starts falling, or, of course, leaving the park.

“Just sticking with my approach,” Bradley said of his approach to NESN’s Jahmai Webster following the game. “Trying to hit the ball hard somewhere, continue to swing at strikes and let the chips fall where they may.”

Between Tuesday’s win and Sunday’s 5-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners, Bradley is 6-for-7 with a double, one home run and four RBIs.

“Keeping it simple, he’s seeing the ball a lot better,” Cora said after the game, as seen on NESN’s postgame coverage. “I keep repeating myself, he’s been swinging the bat well for three weeks, it’s just a matter of the numbers don’t show it. But as far as the approach and being consistent where he’s at, he’s been great.”

Day in and day out, Cora and his staff have voiced their support for Bradley. And now it appears their patience and approach with him is paying off. Whether this is a flash in the pan or the beginning of one of his hot streaks is yet to be seen, but for now, Bradley is showing how much more dangerous Boston’s lineup is when he’s on.

Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Angels:

— Bradley was not the only bat in the bottom of the order to play a big role in the win.

Christian Vazquez added two hits of his own, including a Green Monster homer that he rung off a light tower. And though Rafael Devers, who hit seventh, didn’t have a hit, he recorded a run scored after reaching on an error in the second inning.

In total, Devers, Vazquez and Bradley combined to go 5-for-12 with five RBIs, four runs scored and no strikeouts.

— Since getting his hand evaluated in mid-May, David Price has been dialed in.

That trend continued Tuesday, as the southpaw allowed just one run over six innings, surrendering five hits with two walks and seven strikeouts. The Sox now have won in eight of Price’s last nine starts, with Price going 7-1 in that stretch. He now is 9-5 on the season.

“He’s been good for a while,” Cora said. “They’ve got some good hitters on that side and he was able to go six (innings) and he gave us a chance to win.”

Now we’ll see Price truly get put to the test, as his next scheduled start is a Sunday night game against the New York Yankees in The Bronx.

— With Steven Wright now on the disabled list, Brian Johnson will make a spot start Thursday.

Cora made the announcement after the game. His decision was hinging on if he had to use either Johnson or Hector Velazquez in Tuesday’s game, and with neither being needed, he was free to choose either.

— Before the game, Cora gave an update on injured reliever Tyler Thornburg.

The right-hander hasn’t thrown a regular-season pitch for the Red Sox since being acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the 2017 season, but has continued to make progress during his second rehab stint this season.

His next test is coming this week, as he’ll pitch two innings for Double-A Portland on Wednesday, followed by one frame with Triple-A Pawtucket on Saturday. After that, the Sox will decide if he’s ready to join the big league club.

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