BOSTON -- In the top of the eighth inning at Fenway Park on Saturday night, Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. darted left toward the wall in pursuit of a hard-hit line drive off the bat of Kevin Kiermaier.
Initially, Bradley felt he had it. But just seconds later, he was laying on the warning track in pain -- motionless for a moment -- as Kiermaier scored on an inside-the-park home run to put Tampa Bay on the board in Boston's 7-1 victory.
So what was Bradley's first question to the training staff, even with blood gushing from his nose, after running into the wall?
"I asked them how close I was to it," Bradley said, laughing. "That was my first question."
Bradley said he didn't feel any pain from his seemingly violent collision with the Green Monster, but instead got knocked down by the ball, which caromed off the wall and directly into his nose. He played the rest of the inning with gauze in his nostril. It's not broken, Bradley said, but was still bleeding periodically in the clubhouse after the game.
"He might be a little bit lighter on the blood," Red Sox manager John Farrell said, "but other than that, he makes a heck of an effort."
As for Kiermaier, he thought Bradley had a pretty good route on the ball initially. But as he rounded second, he saw Bradley jump, then saw the ball roll away from the Red Sox center fielder.
"I was around second base with a ton of adrenaline going," he said. "And I was pretty excited that [third-base coach Tom Foley] sent me."
Bradley wasn't the only one to take a ball off the nose Saturday night. Rays catcher Ali Solis fell victim to the same fate when a breaking ball in the dirt deflected off the top of A.J. Pierzynski's shinguard and into Solis' nose in the third. He left with a nasal contusion.
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less