While his reception was mild and mixed during his introduction before his first at-bat at Fenway Park tonight, Jacoby Ellsbury's bat made a lot of noise in his return while the Yankees ran up the score against the Red Sox on their way to a 9-3 victory.
Ellsbury returned to the Fenway for the first time as a member of the Yankees and had himself a very productive night at the plate going 2-for-5, with two RBIs and two runs scored against his former team.
"Anytime a win is a good game,” Ellsbury said. "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."
In his first at-bat against Jon Lester, Ellsbury drilled an 0-2 fastball high off the center field wall. Sean Wilshere -- a fan wearing a Bruins jersey -- reached over the wall and the umpires ruled that Ellsbury would have made it to third without the interference and awarded him the triple. Ellsbury would come on to score the Yankees first run on a base hit by Derek Jeter.
“I was hoping it would be a homer,” Ellsbury said. “I missed it by a foot or two. I knew it was close. It’s nice, you want do well. You want to go out there and put out a good performance. It was nice to get a triple right off the bat and just allow Jeter to score me right from the get-go, 1-0 from the start, that was nice."
Sean Wilshere points to where Jacoby's triple, earning him an early exit from the Fens pic.twitter.com/cj5KHDHN3o— Gordon Edes (@GordonEdes) April 23, 2014
Is it Fan Interference week at Fenway? This is the second time in three games that a fan has interfered with a ball in play at America's Most Beloved ballpark after a fan reached over the Green Monster on a Dustin Pedroia fly ball on Sunday. Wilshere nearly went tumbling over the wall to the warning track below before he was tossed from Fenway for the interference.
Ellsbury showed off his defense in the bottom of the first when he made a sliding catch on a ball driven into the gap by Grady Sizemore.
Before the top of the second inning, the Red Sox showed an Ellsbury highlight reel, featuring Springsteen's "Born to Run," which brought Ellsbury out of the Yankees dugout to salute the fans.
"Just right before the game, that was the first time they let me know there’d be something,” Ellsbury said. “I didn’t know what it was. That was the first I heard of it. They said something would be going on, after the bottom of the first inning. That was really all I got from them.”
Ellsbury would fly out to Jonny Gomes in the second inning and ended the top of the third by grounding into a double play. But he would do more damage with his bat in the fifth. With two outs, Ellsbury drove a Lester pitch into left for a double to score Brian McCann and Brian Roberts to make it 7-2 Yankees. Ellsbury would then score the Yankees eighth run of the game on another RBI single by Jeter.
Ellsbury grounded out to Dustin Pedroia to end the seventh inning, but overall a big night for the former Red Sox center fielder who is now batting .342 as the Yankees leadoff man.
“It was nice, especially it was important to get to Lester early in the game, get some runners on, get him in the stretch,” Ellsbury said. “I thought all game we did a tremendous job of consistently each inning putting some runners on and getting the guys across the plate."