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Jackie soars in SoCal with wall-crashing grab

MLB.com @IanMBrowne

ANAHEIM -- The electric Jackie Bradley Jr. has taken his highlight-reel glove to the West Coast for the next six games, and it took him all of one batter to make his presence felt in Friday night's 6-2 win over the Angels.

Angels leadoff man Yunel Escobar smoked Red Sox ace Chris Sale's fourth pitch of the bottom of the first inning deep to right-center. Bradley was off with the crack of the bat and raced back, threw his body toward the wall, timed his jump perfectly and came down with the ball.

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ANAHEIM -- The electric Jackie Bradley Jr. has taken his highlight-reel glove to the West Coast for the next six games, and it took him all of one batter to make his presence felt in Friday night's 6-2 win over the Angels.

Angels leadoff man Yunel Escobar smoked Red Sox ace Chris Sale's fourth pitch of the bottom of the first inning deep to right-center. Bradley was off with the crack of the bat and raced back, threw his body toward the wall, timed his jump perfectly and came down with the ball.

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"Jeez, talk about setting the tone again," said Sale. "I looked at Brock [Holt] and said, 'What's wrong with that guy?' It just seems like once he makes a great catch, it's like, 'All right, that's the best one.' And then he makes another one, and, 'OK, that's the best one now.'

"It just seems like he's always raising the bar. It's fun to watch. He loves doing that, too. He likes doing that for us and for our team. It's fun. That's a double, probably a triple, and that's the first batter of the game. You're talking about the difference between pitching out of the stretch or having one out, so that's huge. That's a big-time play by a big-time player."

As Bradley made the spectacular grab, he felt the brunt of the wall with his front shoulder. But he bounced right up, keeping ball securely in his glove the whole time.

"Just wanted to make the play and worry about the aftermath later," said Bradley. "It was a big play. First batter of the game, not only did we get some offensive momentum but to make a play like that out of the gate kind of sets the tone."

Escobar's shot had a hit probability of 54 percent. According to Statcast™, Bradley needed to cover 84 feet in 4.9 seconds to make the play.

"Typically, he's got such a feel and presence of where he is on the warning track, but that was a play he's all out right to the point of impact and the catch," said Farrell. "But thankfully there's padding there. So while he was jarred, he came through it fine."

The latest gem by Bradley came five days after he ran back to the triangle area at Fenway Park and reached his arm over the bullpen to take a two-run homer away from Aaron Judge.

Video: NYY@BOS: Statcast™ measures Bradley Jr.'s amazing grab

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook.

Boston Red Sox, Jackie Bradley Jr.