Bradley shows off range with highlight-reel grab
After making running catch in eighth, center fielder goes all out to rob Kendrick
ANAHEIM -- Jackie Bradley Jr. may have played just two innings in Friday's game against the Angels, but his presence and importance in the Red Sox's 4-2 win was definitely felt.
Bradley, who's had plenty of defensive gems this season, showcased his skills at Angel Stadium once he became a defensive replacement in the eighth inning.
The first came in the bottom of the eighth on a sinking liner into center field off the bat of Mike Trout. Bradley read the ball and then sprinted in as quickly as possible, making a catch just inches off the ground to record the first out.
"I'm not coming in with that guy," Bradley laughed. "I saw it off the bat and knew it wasn't going to be deep. It was one of those where you just have to put your head down."
However, Bradley wasn't even close to being finished. He outdid himself on a ball hit by Howie Kendrick to lead off the bottom of the ninth.
A ball was scalded by Kendrick into the right-center-field alley when Bradley went into an all out sprint, leaping up to snow cone the ball just as he ran into the wall.
"It was well hit and I immediately broke and took my eyes off of it," Bradley said. "I tried to get the fastest three steps in before looking back in to see if I could handle it.
"It all happened so fast. I was just hoping that the wall didn't stop me before I got to it."
Once the catch was made, Kendrick couldn't believe it.
"Yeah, I was surprised. It was hit hard, but at the same time, he was shading me over there a little bit but he made a heck of a play," Kendrick said. "That was a phenomenal play by him."
Had Bradley not made the grab, the whole complexion of the inning would have changed. After the catch, the Angels put the tying runs on base before closer Koji Uehara struck out Kole Calhoun to preserve the win.
"He is such an impact defender, and that was evident with both catches. We have seen it tonight and he had an impact on this game with just two innings of defense," manager John Farrell said.
"The one thing that has never been shaken in his time here is his defense. He is a confident defender. You feel like he can roll out of bed and into a spot where a ball will land. Thankfully he had that instinct because it showed up again here tonight."