JBJ halfway there! Streak reaches 28

JBJ halfway there! Streak reaches 28

BOSTON -- Jackie Bradley Jr. is now halfway to history.

It took the Red Sox's center fielder all of one pitch to extend his hitting streak to 28 games, as Bradley clubbed a 91-mph fastball by Rockies left-hander Jorge De La Rosa for a double off the Green Monster in left-center to lead off the bottom of the second inning of Tuesday night's 8-3 Boston win.

Just another 28 consecutive games with at least one hit and Bradley would know how Joe DiMaggio felt in 1941, when he set the all-time record by hitting in 56 straight.

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"It's truly amazing," Bradley said of DiMaggio's feat. "It's one of those numbers where it stood for a long time. There's a reason why it's there and why it's lasted so long."

Since DiMaggio's streak ended on July 15, 1941, 47 players have had hitting streaks of 28 games or better. Pete Rose's 44-game streak is the longest, while the White Sox Jimmy Rollins owns the longest streak among active players at 38, set from 2005-06 with the Phillies.

Bradley is also just six games shy of the Red Sox's record, set by Dom DiMaggio in 1949.

IT on Bradley Jr.'s hit streak

He is the sixth Red Sox player to record a hitting streak of 28 games. The five others are Johnny Damon (29 games, 2005), Nomar Garciaparra (30, 1997), Wade Boggs (28, 1985), Dom DiMaggio (34, 1949) and Tris Speaker (30, 1912). Boggs will have his No. 26 retired to the right-field facade at Fenway Park on Thursday.

Bradley chuckled when asked if he thinks about his streak.

"I'm just being reminded about it a lot. Just swinging," said Bradley who went 2-for-4 on Tuesday night to raise his season average to .346. "Having fun."

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What has impressed Red Sox hitting coach Chili Davis is the number of times Bradley doesn't swing. During the streak, Bradley has 14 walks and a .487 on-base percentage. This, to go along with a .412 average, eight doubles, three triples, eight homers, 29 RBIs and a 1.271 OPS.

"The other day, he walked twice," said Davis. "He could have easily gone up there and just swung at anything. He was very patient at the plate, got a pitch he could hit and hit it hard. Even with the streak on the line, he's not wasting the at-bats. He's not throwing them away. He's getting pitches he can hit and he's aggressive to those pitches."

He didn't have to wait around for a pitch he could hit on Tuesday. Following an off-day for Boston on Monday, Bradley laced his double on the first pitch of his first at-bat.

"Yeah, he doesn't wait around," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "And I don't believe he's ever faced De La Rosa before, but he gets a fastball over the middle of the plate and his swing plays so well. We talk about why we're good at home here and our left-handers, their swing fits this ballpark very well, and that was the case in Jackie's first AB."

Ian Browne has covered the Red Sox for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne and Facebook. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.