Reddick busts out of slump with four-hit outing

Reddick busts out of slump with four-hit outing

Reddick busts out of slump with four-hit outing
BOSTON -- Josh Reddick's best day at the plate as a Major Leaguer had an unfortunate ending on Saturday.

After starting the game 4-for-4, setting a career high for hits in a game, Reddick was plunked on the left hand in the eighth inning. He stayed in the game to run the bases, but was removed after the inning. Reddick said his hand was sore, but X-rays were negative.

"Just right on the tender part of the hand, just above the wrist," he said after the Red Sox's 12-7 win over the Rangers. "Luckily it missed the bone and just swelled up quite a bit. Nothing too serious. But the good thing is we won. That's the main thing."

"He's going to be a little sore tomorrow," added manager Terry Francona. "We'll see how he reacts from there, but just like the rest of us, he's day to day."

With a southpaw on the hill for the Rangers on Sunday, it might make sense to let the left-handed-hitting Reddick rest one more day anyway.

But the 24-year-old outfielder was pleased with his career day, especially considering his struggles at the plate since the All-Star break. After storming out to a .393 mark in the first half, Reddick entered Saturday with a .223 second-half average.

"After the struggles I had, it's huge to pick up a game like that," he said. "I had a few off the handle fall in when I've been hitting the ball hard. Just keep having good at-bats, that's all I can do."

Reddick's seemingly at his best when he remains disciplined at the plate, staying away from his free-swinging ways of the past. Despite his recent struggles, he believes he's remained consistent all season.

"In the past, I changed my stance, changed my hands location whenever I started struggling," he said. "So that's one thing we've been focusing on, is staying the same way I've been all year. Everybody goes through slumps. We've seen everybody do it. It's just how you cope with it and come back the next day."

Reddick flashed a glimpse of his old self in his fourth at-bat of the day, quickly falling behind 0-2 after swinging at two pitches well out of the strike zone. But he fouled off the next three before sending a base hit up the middle for his fourth knock of the day.

"I think if I would have laid off some pitches I might have been 3-1," Reddick quipped. "But just to get the bat on the ball a little bit, foul some pitches off and get one I can handle was huge -- especially being down 0-2."

Reddick was 8-for-61 (.131) over his last 23 games entering Saturday, and as the Sox fight for first place in the American League East, Francona was thrilled to see one of the team's youngest players step up.

"That was good. So many times he's given us such a lift, and that's hard for young players to do that," said Francona. "We're in the middle of the pennant race and this kid comes in like when Carl wasn't playing and gave us a lift there. Now he's playing the majority of right field, and he's had some pretty good days. He had a little time there where he kind of came back, they made some adjustments, but he still has that ability to put some sock in his bat."

Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.