Red Sox

Jackie Bradley Jr. saves game with incredible catch before A's win it in 10th


Jackie Bradley Jr. saves game with incredible catch before A's win it in 10th

OAKLAND — Jackie Bradley Jr.’s incredible leap will go down as the 2017 Red Sox catch of the year, unless someone pulls off the same magic trick in a game the Sox actually win.

The Sox center fielder didn't only rob a home run with a great show of athleticism in the ninth inning Friday night. He robbed what would have been a game-winning, walk-off home run in a tie at 2 with two out in the ninth inning.

The overpowering Craig Kimbrel was nearly burnt for the first time in a long time. With none on, Oakland’s Ryon Healy drove a 98 mph fastball over the middle to center field, drifting into right-center. 

"It was so high you didn’t know if it was going to as far as it did," Sox manager John Farrell said. "But once he was able to get back there and able to time the jump, heck of a catch, no doubt."

Bradley Jr. was drifting too and timed everything perfectly, hauling in the ball at the apex of his leap. He sugarcoated the whole thing by casually running off the field, as though he didn’t just make an unbelievable play.

"I didn’t really have a reaction," Bradley said. "I was still kind of upset about my last at-bat [a strikeout to begin the ninth inning]. It’s one of those things where I’m just competing. I didn’t try to make it suspenseful. I started running in like I normally would. But it was fun to be able to do it."

The A’s finished the job the next inning, with Heath Hembree on the mound. Mark Canha hit a walk-off homer to left for a 3-2 A’s win. It was deep, and it was not playable.

Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

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Kimbrel back in camp, but infant daughter on his mind

Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel has returned to Fort Myers after spending the past three weeks in Boston, where his infant daughter Lydia has undergone multiple heart surgeries at Boston Children's Hospital.

On Monday, an emotional Kimbrel spoke to reporters in Florida, including The Boston Herald's Michael Silverman, about the ordeal after throwing a batting practice session.  

"We’ll be in and out of Boston Children’s Hospital the rest of her life but for this stay, hopefully, a couple more weeks," Kimbrel said. “She’s in the recovery process but life-threatening wise, she’s in a good place that I can be down here." 

Kimbrel said he and his wife Ashley "can't say enough about how amazing Boston Children's Hospital has been." 

"There's no denying it's been the toughest thing we've ever been through," Kimbrel said.  

"In the last week, her recovery has been unbelievable and she's showing great signs and we're very blessed and we want to thank the Red Sox and Alex [Cora] for understanding they've been through this and working with us," Kimbrel said. 

He said Lydia, born in November, will need another surgery when she's around 3 or 4 years old to help ensure normal development. 

"It's been tough, I can say that. We're definitely, me and my wife, we've had each other and we've had our family, we've had a great support. Everyone is sending out prayers that have definitely been heard. Now, I'm back down here. The other day I threw a live BP up at Babson [College in Wellesley, Mass.], and me and her got to talking and seeing where Lydia is, and how she's progressed, she's in a good, comfortable place for me to be down here. If she wasn't, I wouldn't be here.

"My family comes first and then baseball comes. I have to thank the Red Sox for letting me be there with my family and then helping me continue to prepare while I was at home. Stepping away for a few hours was definitely a release. It did help to get in the weight room. It did help to throw the ball. But that's not going to take away the emotions we went through in the hospital."

Kimbrel said he and his wife talked about how fortunate they were to be in Boston and its world-class healthcare facilities. 

"We believe that everything in life happens for a reason, even if we don't understand it at the time," he said. "There's a lesson to be learned and something to be shared through every step you go through in life. As difficult as this is, and I know it will take time, hopefully, this experience and everything we've been through, we can share that with others, try to impact someone else's life. Because I know for a fact my daughter's going to be able to do that one day."



Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

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Kimbrel returns to Red Sox after daughter's heart surgery

All-Star closer Craig Kimbrel returned to Fort Myers on Sunday after his 4-month-old daughter underwent successful heart surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital, and the Red Sox are confident he'll be ready for Opening Day.

“Oh, yeah. Plenty,” manager Alex Cora replied when asked if Kimbrel had time to get ready for the March 29 opener against the Rays in St. Petersburg. “With him it’s a different schedule, anyway. He’ll be ready.”

Kimbrel's daughter, Lydia Joy, was born with a heart defect. He left the team Feb. 28 to be with her and his family in Boston, but pitching coach Dana Levangie said Kimbrel was on a pitching program during that time.

“The most important thing is that the family is okay with [Kimbrel returning to the Sox],” Cora said. “If they’re okay with it, we’re okay with it.”