BOSTON -- Redemption came for Jackie Bradley Jr. because he could forget that he had fallen short.Bradley crushed his eighth home run of the season on Friday night, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning against the Twins. His was the first of three Red Sox
BOSTON -- Redemption came for Jackie Bradley Jr. because he could forget that he had fallen short.
Bradley crushed his eighth home run of the season on Friday night, giving the Red Sox a 2-0 lead in the fifth inning against the Twins. His was the first of three Red Sox homers, culminating with Mookie Betts' first career walk-off shot in the 10th inning for a 4-3 win at Fenway Park.
The day before, the Red Sox fell, 2-1, to the Twins when Bradley struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning -- the second of two strikeouts he recorded that game. He didn't reach base in four plate appearances.
But for Bradley, Friday was a clean slate.
"I don't know what happened last night," Bradley said. "I don't like to dwell on the past, so focus on today. We got a win today, and that's the most important thing."
With the game scoreless and Eduardo Nunez on third base, Bradley stepped up to the plate. On a 2-1 count, he hammered Lance Lynn's 95.6-mph fastball over the Green Monster.
The ball sailed a projected 388 feet, with a 102-mph exit velocity, according to Statcast™. Two of Bradley's three career hits off Lynn have been homers. Betts is the only other Red Sox player to go deep against Lynn.
The Red Sox struggled to string together hits against Lynn -- but not Bradley. He went 2-for-2 against the right-hande, and when the team needed to adjust at the plate to create momentum, Bradley was up to the task. Bradley made up for that game-ending strikeout on Thursday against a pitcher he reads with ease (three walks and three hits in eight plate appearances).
"I'm not sure of the exact thing," Bradley said of his success against Lynn. "I guess everybody has certain pitchers that they see really well, and I happened to hit a good swing on a ball that I think was kind of towards the middle of the plate."
Home runs are vital to the Red Sox's offense: Boston is 15-17 this season when the club doesn't record a home run, and 8-0 when Bradley goes deep. Sure, the night before was a disappointment, but that didn't matter anymore.
Because this time, Bradley succeeded.
Blake Richardson is a reporter for MLB.com based in Boston.