Jackie Bradley Jr. went 5-for-6 with two home runs and three doubles in the Red Sox' win over the Mariners. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Jackie Bradley Jr. 'actually getting the results' with record-breaking day capping huge week

Ryan Hannable
August 15, 2015 - 2:19 pm
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Last Saturday Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. was batting just .121 over 24 games in the majors this season. Fast forward to following Saturday's game, the 25-year-old is now up to .250 -- a .129 increase in a week. That is what a 5-for-6, two home run, three doubles game will do, as he led the way in the Red Sox' 22-10 win over the Mariners Saturday afternoon at Fenway Park. Bradley Jr. knows what struggling is like more than anyone as after being considered one of the best center fielder's in baseball, he's spent virtually the entire season in Triple-A because he's had difficulty hitting major league pitching. "You're going to struggle. You're going to have struggles," Bradley Jr. said. "The ones who come out of it and continue to press on are the ones who play the game for a long time. From watching guys like Papi, Pedroia, guys from other teams as well -- we all struggle and thankful that I was able to play today." He set a Red Sox team-record with five extra-base hits in the game and is only one of two major league players to ever have five extra-base hits at the age of 25 or younger. The other? Larry Twitchell 126 years ago -- Aug. 15, 1889. The South Carolina product is currently on a five-game hit streak where he's batting .591, slugging 1.364 with 13 RBIs, three home runs and nine extra-base hits. To put things in perspective, prior to last weekend he had just one extra-base hit on the season and four RBIs. Bradley Jr. has performed in Triple-A, being named to the International League All-Star team this year and slashing .305/.382/.472, but he just couldn't get anything going in the limited major league experience he's been able to have. What has been the biggest difference this time around after getting called up July 29? "Actually getting the results," he said. "Hitting balls hard and having something to show for it. As cliche as it sounds, when you hit the ball hard, you want something to show for it. It's finally showing." He is one of the most likable players in the clubhouse, so the players and coaching staff couldn't be any happier for a player having the type of week and validation that Bradley has had. "First of all, I want to say we're all so proud of Jackie for what he's been doing over the past several games," acting manager Torey Lovullo said. "He's been grinding as we all know, and he has completely turned himself around and deserves all the credit. We ask a lot of him. He's up and down. But he's come up this last time ready to play. The approach is there, swinging at strikes. The overall confidence that he's shown when he's at the plate, he looks like he's ready to do some damage. We get to see the look on his face when he comes in the dugout. "He's telling a great story. That story is he feels comfortable and he feels good about what's going on." After a game and a week that Bradley Jr. has had, he knows there's no real way to go up, but he's going to do whatever it takes to keep his momentum going. "No where but down after today, but you just try and keep swinging it and kind of ride the wave while it's still high," Bradley Jr said. "That's really all I can do."

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