Red Sox Series Preview: A Test In Tampa

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Jun 18, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Boston Red Sox right fielder

Brock Holt

(26) and center fielder

Mookie Betts

(50) celebrate a victory against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field. The Red Sox defeated the Braves 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Red Sox Key Players To Watch:

  • Center fielder Mookie Betts has been on an absolute tear, recently, hitting .462 with two home runs and five RBIs in the last seven games. With a stolen base and incredible defense to his credit, Betts is performing like the leader nobody expected him to be so soon. Especially since weeks earlier people were writing him off for a move back to Pawtucket, after struggling in May.
  • Left fielder Hanley Ramirez was the only Red Sox batter hotter than Betts with the bat, hitting .529 in the same stretch while also earning two home runs and five RBIs. Getting hit by a bashed ball while running from first to second may have momentarily slowed him down, keeping out of last night’s game against the Orioles, but he should quickly return. According to Gordon Edes of ESPN, “X-rays and a CT scan came back negative, and while there was still swelling and Ramirez wore a brace, the Red Sox left fielder avoided the disabled list and is considered day-to-day.”
  • Outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. made his return from Triple-A last night, filling in by playing right field while Alejandro De Aza played left field for the injured Ramirez. Bradley has always been known for his amazing defensive plays, while his offense had much to improve upon for him to be taken seriously by MLB starting pitchers. In last night’s game, he went 2-for-4 which is impressive in his first game back; however, as always, his defense was the real story: