- Gordon Edes, ESPN Staff Writer
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BOSTON -- In what will come as a disappointment to home fans hoping to get their first in-person glimpse of Jackie Bradley Jr. in action, the rookie outfielder is not in Monday’s starting lineup for the home opener (2:05 ET) against the Baltimore Orioles.
Bradley, who started each of the team's first six games, made an auspicious debut in the season opener last Monday in New York, drawing three walks and scoring two runs while beating a force play at second base that keyed a four-run rally. He also made an outstanding running catch in left.
He had RBI hits in the next two games in New York and scored two runs, and reached base three times in Friday night’s 6-4 win over the Blue Jays, singling, reaching on an error and walking. But in the last two games in Toronto, he failed to get the ball out of the infield in seven at-bats, striking out four times.
He enters play Monday with a .143 batting average, with 3 hits in 21 at-bats, although his on-base percentage is significantly higher at .333, buoyed by five walks. With the Orioles starting Taiwanese left-hander Wei-Yin Chen, Sox manager John Farrell opted for another right-handed bat in left field in the switch-hitting Nava, even though he batted a dismal .185 (15 for 81) against lefties last season.
Bradley, who was in Class-A Salem a year ago at this time, has just one hit in 12 at-bats with five strikeouts against left-handers this season.
“They attacked him on the inside part of the plate a little bit,’’ Farrell said, describing the way Bradley was pitched by Toronto. “They did a good job, mixed up some breaking balls for strikes, spread the zone away from him. I didn’t think he expanded all that much. He saw some fastballs in at the belt and above he hasn’t seen much of. He’s learning.’’
Bradley, not surprisingly, was a bit subdued after Sunday’s game.
“They did come in quite a bit,’’ he said. “I hit some hard, but other than that I just missed my pitch. I think it’s a fair assessment.’’
Here's the full Sox lineup:
1. Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
2. Shane Victorino, RF
3. Dustin Pedroia, 2B
4. Mike Napoli, 1B
5. Will Middlebrooks, 3BN
6. Daniel Nava, LF
7. Jonny Gomes, DH
8. David Ross, C
9. Jose Iglesias,
SP -- Clay Buchholz, RHP