BOSTON -- Red Sox fans haven't seen a longer hitting streak than Jackie Bradley Jr.'s since 2005. Johnny Damon was the last Boston player to reach 29 games from June 10-July 17 that year.In the fifth inning Sunday, Bradley hit a line-drive single on a curveball into right field, pushing
BOSTON -- Red Sox fans haven't seen a longer hitting streak than Jackie Bradley Jr.'s since 2005. Johnny Damon was the last Boston player to reach 29 games from June 10-July 17 that year.
In the fifth inning Sunday, Bradley hit a line-drive single on a curveball into right field, pushing his hitting streak to 27 games as Boston battled Cleveland to win the series finale, 5-2, at Fenway Park.
"He's addressing any different type of pitch thrown at him," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "[Saturday] and today, knowing that they might pitch him carefully, he's not expanding the strike zone. Gets an offspeed pitch up at the plate to extend it once again today. Much like we talk about guys with good plate coverage, Jackie's right in that conversation."
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Bradley owns the longest hitting streak of the season. The last Major Leaguer with a longer streak of 28 games was the Rockies' Nolan Arenado in 2014. The Red Sox center fielder is seven games away from tying Dom DiMaggio, who has the longest streak in franchise history, hitting in 34 straight in 1949.
Including Damon and DiMaggio, five Red Sox players have longer streaks than Bradley's. Hall of Famer Wade Boggs reached 28 (1985), followed by 30 for Hall of Famer Tris Speaker (1912) and Nomar Garciaparra (1997).
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Bradley walked in his first at-bat and struck out swinging in his second at-bat against Cleveland starter Danny Salazar. After he popped up to third in his final at-bat, Bradley's single was his only hit.
The 26-year-old raised his average by 120 points during the hitting streak, from .222 to .342. Teammate Xander Bogaerts leads the American League with a .346 mark.
"I focus on having a great at-bat and letting the guys behind me take care of the rest," Bradley said.
Bradley moved up a spot to sixth Sunday, with Travis Shaw batting .313 behind him, in order to avoid a catapult of intentional walks similar to Cleveland's strategy Saturday.
Besides Shaw and Christian Vazquez, who both went 0-for-4, the rest of the Boston lineup reached base by either a walk or a hit Sunday.
"We haven't been able to have such a consistent lineup over the last few years. This is the one lineup where you see the results," said David Ortiz, who went 4-for-4 and fell a triple shy of the cycle.
Deesha Thosar is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.