Ellsbury Pumps Life Into Red Sox

Ellsbury Pumps Life Into Red Sox

NEW YORK — Between games of yesterday’s marathon doubleheader, the Red Sox [team stats]’ confidence ebbed so low that their hanging heads could’ve dragged the infield at Yankee Stadium.

And now?

Jonathan Papelbon is writing bumper stickers.

“Gotta grind to shine,” Papelbon said before the closer added, “Going to go ball in Baltimore.”

A 14-inning, 5-hour, season-saving win will turn anyone into Ricky Bobby.

Fittingly, it was Jacoby Ellsbury [stats], the Red Sox’ do-everything MVP candidate, who lifted the mood, at least for one night. After pinch-hitting Darnell McDonald singled and Marco Scutaro walked, he launched a three-run home run into the right field bullpen against Yankees reliever Scott Proctor to give the Red Sox a 7-4 victory and a one-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League wild card standings.

Ellsbury went deep twice in the matinee, a 6-2 loss, becoming the first Red Sox player ever to notch at least 30 homers and 30 steals in a season.

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