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JBJ breaks out as Red Sox barrage Angels

Bradley hits one of four Boston homers to back Price's six sharp innings
MLB.com @IanMBrowne

BOSTON -- From the time Mookie Betts belted the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning for a home run, the tone was set. From then on, essentially everything went right for the Red Sox in Tuesday's impressive 9-1 victory over the Angels in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

"Trying to set the tone against a good team," said Betts. "Let them know that we're here and ready to play."

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BOSTON -- From the time Mookie Betts belted the first pitch of the bottom of the first inning for a home run, the tone was set. From then on, essentially everything went right for the Red Sox in Tuesday's impressive 9-1 victory over the Angels in the opener of a three-game series at Fenway Park.

"Trying to set the tone against a good team," said Betts. "Let them know that we're here and ready to play."

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Offensively, the Red Sox were machine-like, with contributions from top to bottom. Perhaps most satisfying of all was the performance of Jackie Bradley Jr., who has spent most of the season in a slump, but went 3-for-4 with a double, a homer and four RBIs on Tuesday. After back to-back three-hit games, Bradley is hitting .199.

Video: LAA@BOS: Bradley Jr. goes 3-for-4 with HR, 2B, 4 RBIs

"Keeping it simple," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "He's seeing the ball a lot better. Good to see him go the other way and up the middle. Some good situational hitting right there -- second and third, he goes the other way. And then the homer, obviously, that's a good sign."

Betts' homer was his fourth leadoff blast this season, putting him three away from tying Nomar Garciaparra's single-season club record set in 1997. It was the fourth opposite-field shot for Betts this season, who had just two in his career entering 2018.

Betts' homer sends outfielder over wall like Papi's 2013 slam

"Just working on my swing with [hitting coach] Timmy [Hyers] and J.D. [Martinez] and those guys, getting me in the understanding of how the swing works and what produces the power," said Betts. "I guess just the swing plane. I'm strong. I'm strong enough to do it, it's just getting on the swing plane and hitting it really well."

Video: LAA@BOS: Betts rips homer, Hermosillo flips over wall

Speaking of Martinez, he mashed one into the bullpen in right, and teammate Hector Velazquez caught it. It was the 24th homer of the season for Martinez, passing Mike Trout (who was watching from the other dugout) and Cleveland's Jose Ramirez for the MLB lead.

In all, 10 Boston players had hits, including one each from subs Blake Swihart and Brock Holt. Just a week ago, the Red Sox were scuffling to score during a six-game stretch through Seattle and Minneapolis.

"Everything is clicking," said Cora. "It seems like we're putting the ball in play a little bit more than through that stretch there last week, and we're hitting with men in scoring position. It wasn't about not having opportunities to drive in guys. It got to the point that there were a lot of baserunners out there, but we didn't get the hits. Now we are."

Video: LAA@BOS: Cora on Price, Bradley Jr. in 9-1 win

David Price (9-5, 3.66 ERA) provided yet another strong start, holding the Angels to five hits and a run while striking out seven in six innings. In his past nine starts, Price is 7-1 with a 2.72 ERA and has allowed three runs or fewer each time out.

"Run support is always huge," said Price. "For us to come out and swing it the way we did early on in the game, starting in the bottom of the first to get that cushion, that always makes it easier."

The contest was played under perfect weather conditions, adding to the enjoyment of the sold-out Fenway faithful of 37,366. The win puts Boston at 53-27, a half-game behind the Yankees in the American League East.

Video: LAA@BOS: Price K's 7 over 6 innings of 1-run ball

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
J.D. joins select company: With his homer, Martinez joined an elite list of names, becoming the fifth player in Red Sox history to hit 24 homers before the end of June. The other four? Ted Williams (1950), Mo Vaughn (1996), Jose Canseco (1996) and Manny Ramirez (2001).

"No, I don't get caught up in all that," Martinez said. "I'm sorry. I hate to be a buzzkill or anything, but I'm just worried about tomorrow and the next guy we're facing. So that's kind of where I'm at. I kind of think of all this when it's all said and done at the end of the season. So that's kind of where I'm at." More >

Video: LAA@BOS: Martinez slugs his 24th homer of the season

This time, Mookie clocks the first one: All season long, Cora has been saying that Betts is ready to do damage on the first pitch of the game. Tuesday marked the first time his leadoff homer came on the first pitch of the first inning.

"Finally, huh? That was cool," said Cora. "For him to hit it out of the ballpark, I mean, he brings so much to the table with the body of the at-bats. But it's good to see him getting a fastball and driving it the other way."

SOUND SMART
The first four Red Sox-Angels games haven't been close in any way, shape or form. In four victories, Boston is winning the scoring battle, 36-4. The Red Sox have out-hit the Angels, 57-19.

Video: LAA@BOS: Benintendi smacks a double to left field

HE SAID IT
"I don't think I'll be able to go, so I don't think so." -- Price, sarcastically answering a question about his excitement for his start at Yankee Stadium on Sunday

For context, Price was scratched from his last start against the Yankees due to mild carpal tunnel syndrome and exited his first start this season against New York with numbness and tingling in his pitching hand.

UP NEXT
Right-hander Rick Porcello (9-3, 3.44 ERA) will try to keep the momentum going for the Red Sox when he pitches Wednesday's 7:10 p.m. ET contest against the Angels. Porcello was brilliant in his last start, firing seven shutout innings against the Twins in which he allowed just one hit. In his one previous start against the Angels this season, Porcello dazzled, scattering six hits and allowing no runs over six innings. The Angels, who are 0-4 against the Red Sox this season, counter with lefty Andrew Heaney (4-5, 3.43 ERA). The contest will be broadcast as Wednesday's MLB Network Showcase game.

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.