BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr. is one of the easier Red Sox to identify when it comes to can-he-do-it-again questions.
At last, he hit in 2016, and in a big way.
RED SOX 5, PIRATES 3
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- Box score
Opening Day’s 5-3 win on Monday suggested he was no fluke.
His triple, which was nearly a home run, started the two-out rally off the Pirates’ Gerrit Cole in the fifth inning. A beautiful catch in the triangle in center field that threw his body up against the edge of the bullpen wall that cuts on a diagonal helped keep the game scoreless in the fourth.
“I don’t care about the wall, I’m going to catch the ball,” said Bradley, who’s not the loudest character but certainly a confident one. “The toughest part was, I knew the sun was going to be in my eyes so it momentarily was in the sun for the last second. It came out, but I kind of knew the spot where I needed to be so I kind of took off, took my first three or four steps, not looking and kind of picked up the spot.”
The new guard seems ready — although Bradley joked he’s old now, at the age of 26.
Asked if he thought about the impact of David Ortiz’s absence on Monday, Bradley showed at least some with the Sox have, indeed, moved on.
“I didn’t think about it, personally,” Bradley said. “But I can’t speak for everybody else. I miss him though.”