Jacoby Ellsbury, hobbled by foul ball off foot, still shows game-altering speed in win over Orioles

August 28, 2013 - 8:06 pm
The Red Sox stared down an ominous vision on Wednesday night, when Jacoby Ellsbury slammed a foul ball off of his foot and had to leave his team's contest against Baltimore. But the immediate fast-forward to a worst-case scenario evidently proved unnecessary, as the Red Sox' leadoff hitter appears fine '€” or so say he and manager John Farrell. The center fielder fouled a pitch off of his right foot in the seventh inning and came around to score, but didn'€™t come back out for the top of the eighth. Shane Victorino slid over to center, while Jonny Gomes took Ellsbury's spot atop the lineup for the rest of the 4-3 win over the Orioles. Before leaving the game, though, Ellsbury was sure to leave a mark with his trademark tool '€” his speed. With Victorino at the plate, Ellsbury stole second and later scored on Dustin Pedroia'€™s single to left, barely beating the throw from Nate McLouth to knot the game at three. '€œI knew I could get it, it was just a matter of going,'€ Ellsbury said of the big stolen base. '€œThe foot was throbbing, but I knew it was a big run, big situation, and I knew how to get in scoring position. '€œIt obviously didn'€™t feel good at all, but obviously it was a big point in the game and I know we had to get in scoring position, and when Pedroia hit that ball, there was only one thing, and that was to score. After Mike Carp'€™s eventual game-winning single, Ellsbury'€™s seventh-inning grit proved to be huge. The steal of second was his second swipe of the night and 49th in 53 tries on the season. Gomes, watching from the bench at the time, was appreciative of the aggressive baserunning. '€œThat'€™s what Ellsbury is '€” a game-changer,'€ Gomes said. '€œSpeed never takes a day off. It applies pressure and he did it there. '€œIt'€™s not really a contact sport, but when you do get hit '€” whether it'€™s something like that or run into a wall or something '€” there are injuries in this game. He definitely makes this lineup go, hitting in that leadoff spot.'€ That has been particularly true in the first two games against the Orioles this week. He is 5-for-8 with a walk and four runs scored in that pair of games while continuing to hover around .300 at the plate. For the time being, Ellsbury owns a .298 average with a .356 OBP and .421 slugging mark. The hope is that mark will change Thursday, if only because it would mean Ellsbury is back in the lineup. Farrell said the fluoroscan '€” similar to an X-ray '€” came back negative. Ellsbury was not icing his foot in the clubhouse after the game, but he will be re-examined Thursday. Should it flare up, '€œwe'€™ll take every precaution needed,'€ according to Farrell. Ellsbury was a bit more direct. '€œAll indication is I plan on being back in there tomorrow,'€ he said. The scare came on an 0-1 Francisco Rodriguez fastball that Ellsbury (2-for-3, walk) fouled off the top of his right foot, just below where his shin guard stops. The at-bat resulted in him beating out a single to short to put men on the corners with one out. Ellsbury likely won't be 100 percent '€” hardly anyone is at this point in the season, really '€” but Gomes commended the team'€™s training staff for keeping Ellsbury and the rest of the team'€™s nicked-up players on the field. '€œHopefully this is a short-term thing,'€ Farrell said. '€œHe'€™s been so important to us."