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Farrell hopeful that Bradley's extra work pays off

ANAHEIM -- Jackie Bradley Jr.'s name was once again absent from the Red Sox starting lineup for Saturday's contest against the Angels.

The center fielder has been penciled into the starting lineup just once in the past five games as he continues to struggle at the plate. Bradley entered play Saturday in an 0-for-27 slump that began on July 29.

Manager John Farrell is looking at this time off as a way for Bradley to make necessary improvements.

"We trust that through the early work, which he has done the past few days, that it can carry over on the field," Farrell said. "We feel like their is a better hitter in there, from a consistency standpoint. From an average standpoint, time will tell."

Bradley seemed to turn a corner in July, hitting .345 over a 17-game stretch, but it didn't last.

"We want him to get back to that so he can be back in a starting role for us," Farrell said. "We need it to increase. This is a stretch of time where we are addressing some things. He is aware of the approach.

"We sat down and met with him yesterday. We don't want him questioning his abilities or where he stands. We are emphasizing the early work and the adjustments."

With Bradley's defensive capabilities, which were on full display for the final two innings of Friday's contest, Boston knows its a better team when Bradley is patrolling center field.

"Jackie is one of the players we are trying to get the best and longest read as possible," Farrell said. "That's going to require consistent playing time as we go forward."

Quinn Roberts is a reporter for
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