Castillo, Bradley Jr. making most of opportunities


BOSTON - When this Red Sox homestand began last Friday, neither Rusney Castillo or Jackie Bradley Jr. were in the picture.

They were both down in the minors, waiting for an opportunity.

Then Shane Victorino was traded to the Angels and Castillo got the call.

Days later, Mookie Betts jumped over the wall in center field, landed on his back, and then landed on the 7-day DL with a concussion. That opened the door for Bradley.

And on Thursday, both contributed to the Red Sox 8-2 win over the White Sox.

Castillo had two hits - an infield single to begin a four-run 6th, and a home run that landed in the center-field bleachers in the 7th (WATCH). It was a good sign for a player who has otherwise been underwhelming in his first full season with the Red Sox.

"He's handled the ball in to him better than he did his previous time here with us," Farrell said of Castillo. "The sinkerballer that throws the ball down and in to him tied him up. I think as he's gotten at-bats he looks more fluid, he looks more relaxed. Not trying to force the issue at the plate. The bat speed is very good. But I think the most impressive thing is he's handling the ball close to him better than he did previous."

Castillo said through a translator that he's starting to feel more comfortable at the plate, specifically on those inside pitches.

"Yes it's something I definitely focused in on recently," Castillo said through a translator. "It's something I became aware of and started to make adjustments to it and thankfully it started to pay dividends."

Bradley's stay might only last as long as Betts' DL stint (unless Alejandro De Aza is traded), but a few hits can go a long way. He ripped a key single up the middle against the left-handed Sale to drive in the Red Sox' fourth run of the game in the 5th inning (WATCH).

"Just a handful of at-bats but you like to think it's coming a little bit," Farrell said. "Against certain guys he's picked fastballs early in the count to put a good swing on some pitches. Again, another 0-2 base hit on the breaking ball from Sale on the RBI. He just looked a little more balanced and the swing path is consistent. The results might not be there but you see improvement each time he's on the field."

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