Bradley Jr. fires 8-run inning against former team in Blue Jays win over Red Sox

Jackie Bradley Jr. doubled and scored to score an eight-run inning against his former team and the Toronto Blue Jays cruised to a 9-3 win over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.

George Springer had two hits and drove in three runs when he returned to the lineup as the designated hitter. The Blue Jays (66-55) picked up their fifth win in six outings to keep pace with the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL wildcard standings.

Ross Stripling (6-3) continued his flirtation with a perfect game last week with another effective night, driving in one run on six hits and striking out six in six innings. He said he liked being someone the team counted at the end of the year.

“I had some good years, but I don’t think I was ever a guy the team really leaned on and expected big things in a playoff push,” Stripling said. “So it’s fun to be on the hump every five days when every win really counts.”

Interim manager John Schneider said the team is riding the wave of its starting pitchers right now.

“They processed, it starts with that,” he said. “I think that allows the attack to do what it is capable of doing.”

The Red Sox (60-63) have lost four of their last five games.

Boston starter Josh Winckowski (5-7) lasted just 2 2/3 innings, allowing six runs, six hits and two walks. He’s allowed 12 runs in 7 2/3 innings in his last two starts.

It rained all afternoon in Boston, and persistent thunderstorms in the area delayed the game’s start time by an hour.

That didn’t calm the bats for the Blue Jays, who entered the day leading the AL with a .262 batting average.

Kike Hernandez’s RBI single gave the Red Sox a 1-0 lead in the second inning.

Things quickly fell apart for Boston after that.

Making his first appearance at Fenway Park as a visiting player, Bradley doubled hard off the left field wall to open up the third. Boston left fielder Tommy Pham was injured on the play after his jump attempt to catch caused him to crash into the wall and exit with back spasms.

Winckowski had back-to-back rushing strikeouts, but Lourdes Gurriel Jr. tied the game with an RBI brace.

Alejandro Kirk walked and Teoscar Hernandez doubled to make it 2-1. Bo Bichette picked to load the bases and Winckowski walked Matt Chapman before being fired in favor of reliever Austin Davis.

Cavan Biggio kept the rally going with an RBI single. Bradley Jr. then got back on board via a boardwalk. Davis looked about to come out of the inning when Springer lifted a short fly ball to right field. But Rob Refsnyder sniffed out his sliding catch attempt and the goals emptied on Springer’s triple to make it 8-1.

Happy to see you again

Bradley received a warm welcome in a video tribute highlighting the outfielder’s time in Boston, which spanned more than eight seasons over two stints.

Bradley was the MVP of the 2018 AL Championship Series and helped catapult the Red Sox to a World Series victory that season. He tilted his cap to the crowd in his first appearance at Fenway Park as a visiting player.

Bradley agreed to a two-year, $24 million deal with Milwaukee in March 2021 and played one season for the Brewers. He was traded to Boston in December and played a second stint with the Red Sox. But early-season struggles led to him being released by Boston earlier this month. The Blue Jays signed him on August 9.

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