If facing his former team at Yankee Stadium felt weird for Jacoby Ellsbury, facing the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park wearing a Yankees jersey had to feel even stranger for the former Red Sox center fielder. Ellsbury, however, was able to overcome the mixed reaction from the fans and make some noise as the Yankees trounced the Red Sox 9-3 Tuesday night.
Ellsbury went 2-5 in the game, with two RBIs and two runs scored against Jon Lester and the Red Sox. The Yankees center fielder wasted no time quieting Red Sox fans as he hit a triple off the center field wall at his first at bat. It was a good start for the Ellsbury, but more importantly, he says it was just good to help his team win.
“Anytime a win is a good game. I’m happy I could go out there and help the team win tonight. I thought the fans were great, I thought the reception was nice. The tribute the Red Sox gave on the video board was unexpected and it was very classy of them to do that.”
Ellsbury also contributed defensively, showing off his range in the bottom of the first when he made a sliding catch on a ball driven into the gap by Grady Sizemore. If symbolism played a part in the game, it was definitely that morning as Ellsbury was able to rob his replacement of an extra base hit.
It ended up being that kind of night for the Red Sox. Masahiro Tanaka outshined starting pitcher Jon Lester. The young phenom pitched 7 1/3 innings, allowing just two runs on seven hits as well as seven strikeouts. He improved to 3-0 on the season. The two runs he gave up came on home runs from David Ortiz and Mike Napoli.
Lester struggled for the Red Sox. He lasted just 4 2/3 innings, giving up eight runs on 11 hits. He was also hurt by two errors from his defense, but allowing four of five batters leading off an inning to reach base only got the wheels turning and Lester was never able to recover. The loss dropped his record to 2-3 on the season.
Notes: The Red Sox have lost four of the first five games against the Yankees this season. Last year they were 9-4 against the pinstripes. Outfielder Shame Victorino is expected to be activated on Wednesday. With the loss, the Red Sox fell to 9-12 on the season and are 3 ½ games behind the Yankees.