The Boston Red Sox managed to split yesterday’s double-header against the New York Yankees thanks in large part to their 2011 MVP Jacoby Ellsbury. After 13 long innings of baseball, Ellsbury put the Red Sox up for good with his three-run home run. Ellbury’s third home run of the day allowed Boston to remain one game up on the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League wild-card race.
Ellbury’s first two jacks were fairly inconsequential. They came in the afternoon game of Sunday’s day-night double-header, a pair of solo shots that didn’t put a real dent in New York’s lead.
After the first game, the Red Sox knew that the Rays had pulled within a half game by winning their contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. Boston also knew that they had another game remaining, meaning they could end the night tied with Tampa Bay.
Early on, it looked like this is exactly where they’d end up. The Yankees took yet another early lead on the Red Sox, scoring three times in the bottom of the first inning. John Lackey walked Curtis Granderson before Robinson Cano singled to right. Mark Teixeira brought both runners home with his double, and came around to score himself on Jason Varitek’s throwing error.
3-0 and they weren’t even out of the first frame.
This was not the position the Red Sox wanted to find themselves in, especially against one of the Yankees better starting pitchers. Ivan Nova cruised through his first four frames, allowing only one hit, a single.
But, Boston woke up in the fifth and started to chip away at New York’s lead. The Red Sox scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings before putting up a pair in the seventh, taking the lead 4-3.
New York countered with a run of its own in the bottom of the frame, and the game would remain tied until Ellsbury performed what’s become his almost expected magic in the 14th.
On the day, Ellsbury went 5-11 with three home runs and five RBI’s. The center fielder is sporting a 10 game hit-streak and has an overall line of .368/.409/.679 in September. Earlier this morning, Mickey wondered if Ellbury’s latest display of awesome propelled him over Justin Verlander in this year’s AL MVP race.
But at this point, I’m sure the Red Sox and Ellsbury aren’t too concerned over his MVP stock. Boston has to focus on extending their season over these next three games. The Red Sox will head to Baltimore to finish the year, while the Rays wrap things up at home against the Yankees.