BOSTON Jacoby Ellsburys first-inning solo home run tied the game. He went 2-for-4, adding a sixth-inning double off the wall in left, with two runs scored and an RBI, extending his hitting streak to a season-high seven games. While it was just his second home run of the season, he has hit in 12 of his last 15 games, at a .324 clip, going 22-for-68 with seven doubles, a home run, eight RBI, and 11 runs scored.
Still, Ellsbury, who missed 79 games with a right shoulder subluxation before being activated from the disabled list on July 13, insists hes not doing anything differently, just making regular progress.
Yeah, feel good at the plate, he said. Throughout a course of a season you have good months, you have better months. Ive only been back for a month, a little over a month, a month and a half, so its just a matter of time.
Of his 29 hits in August, 11 have been doubles. Ellsbury hit in the third spot in the lineup Monday against the Royals. It was his third game starting there, the first time in his career hes been in the starting lineup in the No. 3 spot. Moving him to that spot earlier in the homestand, manager Bobby Valentine said he hoped it would help Ellsbury be more aggressive at the plate. Ellsbury, who is hitting .274 overall this season, is now 5-for-13, batting .385 in the third spot, with a home run, two doubles, four runs scored, and an RBI.
Its all just a matter of feeling better, Ellsbury said.
Thats the plan, he said. Through the course of a season always getting stronger, always getting better. Yeah, squaring up balls. Even some of the outs have been hard.
Ive always felt like I get strong, stronger as the season goes on. Thats a tribute to my workouts in the offseason. I always try to be stronger as the season goes on.
Valentine has seen the differences.
Ive seen a more aggressive hitter whos driving the ball better, hitting with some power and really impressive on the bases, Valentine said. Seems like his body is really feeling good about baseball right now. And giving us that first run, tying it up that quickly, you never know how big that is but I think it was big. Hitting off the wall doesnt hurt, either.