Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr. on his historic 478-foot Coors Field blast: 'Best part was seeing my teammates' reactions'

Jackie Bradley Jr. on his historic 478-foot Coors Field blast: 'Best part was seeing my teammates' reactions'

"If only he could hit .250," has been the Red Sox fan's lament over Jackie Bradley Jr. as they've watched his incomparable defense in his seven major league seasons.

On Tuesday night, Bradley hit 478.

His mammoth home run, which traveled 478 feet into the third deck at Coors Field, was one of three homers that powered the Red Sox to a 10-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies.

The Bradley blast was the longest by a Red Sox player since Statcast began tracking homers in 2015. While the famous hitter-friendly, thin air of mile-high Coors in Denver may have given it a boost, the solo shot that gave the Sox a 2-0 lead in the second inning would've been a long drive in any ballpark.

"The best part was seeing my teammates reactions," Bradley told reporters after the game. "I knew I hit it well, but like everything else, you've got to have the trajectory to go along with it. If you hit a line drive, it's not going to look as good."

As he was talking, teammate Mitch Moreland interrupted, "Way longer than 478," he said. 

"I concur," said Bradley.

The home run was Bradley's fifth in his past 10 games and 17th of the season. His batting average, as low as .148 in the middle of May, is up to .222. Still, there's always that Gold Glove defense in center field. 

At the plate, his manager said Bradley remains a work in progress.

“There’s a few things he needs to do better, he knows it," Alex Cora told reporters. "Keep cutting down on the strikeouts and control the strike zone. When he makes contact, it’s loud and he gives himself a chance.”

Only six homers in all of the majors have traveled further than Bradley's this season. 

"I've always known I'm strong enough to do it, just got to make more contact, that's it," Bradley said. "Easier said than done."

That can also describe the Red Sox' long-shot quest for a playoff spot. They remain six out of the second AL wild card with 29 games to play, though they did gain a game on the Tampa Bay Rays, just one of the three teams they need to pass to get there.

 

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Highlights of Red Sox' 10-6 win over the Rockies

Highlights of Red Sox' 10-6 win over the Rockies

FINAL SCORE:  Red Sox 10, Rockies 6

IN BRIEF: The Red Sox hit three home runs, including a 478-foot blast by Jackie Bradley Jr., as they find Coors Field to their liking in a 10-6 victory over the Colorado Rockies in the opener of their brief, two-game interleague series Tuesday night. BOX SCORE

RED SOX RECORD: 71-62

HIGHLIGHTS

1st inning:
Devers walks, moves to second on Bogaerts' groundout to second, Martinez singles to right, scoring Devers (1-0, BOS).

2nd inning:
Bradley homers to right on a 0-and-0 pitch from Garcia (2-0, BOS).

4th inning:
Holt singles to right, Vázquez hits a two-run homer to left on a 0-0 pitch from Garcia (4-0, BOS).

5th inning:
Bogaerts homers to center on a 0-0 pitch from Garcia (5-0, BOS).

Moreland doubles to right, Holt hits a ground-rule double to left, scoring Moreland (6-0, BOS).

Wolters singles to left, moves to third when Daza, pinch-hitting for Garcia, singles to center, Blackmon singles to right, scoring Wolters (6-1, BOS).

Daza moves to third when Story grounds into fielder's choice, Arenado doubles to left, scoring Daza (6-2, BOS).

7th inning:
(McGee now pitching for the Rockies) Devers walks, moves to third on Bogaerts' double to right, Martinez singles to left, scoring Devers (7-2, BOS).

Moreland reaches second on a fielder's choice, plus a throwing error by second baseman McMahon, scoring Bogaerts (8-2, BOS).

Holt singles to center, scoring Martinez, on center fielder Hilliard's error, Holt reaches third, Moreland scores. (10-2, BOS).

8th inning:
(Josh Smith now pitching for the Red Sox) Desmond singles to right, Hilliard hits a two-run homer on a 1-0 pitch from Smith (10-4, BOS).

9th inning:
Story singles to left, Arenado hits a two-run homer to left on a 3-2 pitch from Smith (10-6, BOS).

UP NEXT:

@Rockies, Wednesday, 8:40 p.m., NESN
@Angels, Friday, 10:07 p.m., NESN
@Angels, Saturday, 9:07 p.m., NESN
@Angels, Sunday, 4:07 p.m., NESN

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WATCH: Jackie Bradley Jr.'s historic 478-foot blast at Coors Field adds to Red Sox lead

WATCH: Jackie Bradley Jr.'s historic 478-foot blast at Coors Field adds to Red Sox lead

The ball does fly out of Coors Field. And Denver's mile-high altitude adds a little distance. It's well-documented.

Still, 478 feet? Coors-aided or not, that's impressive.

Jackie Bradley Jr. blasted the longest Red Sox home run tracked by Statcast (which started in 2015) with his second-inning shot to the third deck in right field at Coors on the first pitch he saw from Colorado Rockies right-hander Rico Garcia, making his major league debut.

The solo shot had an exit velocity of 112.1 mph and gave Boston a 2-0 lead. Its distance on Statcast topped the 469-foot shot by Hanley Ramirez at Fenway Park on April 29, 2017, off ex-Red Sox right-hander John Lackey, then pitching for the Chicago Cubs.

The longest home run in Fenway history was 501 feet, hit well before the Statcast era, in 1946 by Ted Williams. It's now marked by a red seat in the right-field bleachers.

The longest homer at Coors was hit last Sept. 5, a 505-foot shot by the Rockies' Trevor Story off San Francisco Giants left-hander Andrew Suarez. 

Garcia - and Red Sox fans who saw it - will long remember the first major league homer he gave up.

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