NEW BRITAIN, Conn. A promising start turned sour for the Portland Sea Dogs and shook the very foundation of Red Sox Nation.

Sea Dogs center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr., Boston’s top choice in the 2011 draft, went down with an ankle injury in the top of the first inning of the game against New Britain Monday night and limped off
the field.

Bradley, a 5-foot-10, 180-pounder, smacked a leadoff single and thought about heading to third on a single by Jeremy Hazelbaker. When he stopped suddenly, he fell and scrambled safely back to second, but did not get up immediately.

“He just slipped. I think he was more scared than anything else,” Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said. “He’s going to be fine. It just caught him off guard. The track was definitely pretty wet.”

Bradley’s condition was evaluated by Sea Dogs trainer Brandon Henry.

“He was able to put weight on it,” Boles said. “We’ll check him out tomorrow to see how he is but he should be back sooner than later.”

The grounds crew spent the next 22 minutes spreading an absorbent over the entire infield although it hasn’t rained here in days. The Sea Dogs won the game, 4-3 in 10 innings.