With Pedro Ciriaco and Mike Aviles aboard in the bottom
of the ninth inning, Ellsbury drilled a single to right field that scored
Ciriaco and catapulted the Red Sox to a 4-3 walk-off victory over the Yankees.
"Ciri and Mike did a good job of getting in scoring
position," Ellsbury said. "I knew if I hit something to the outfield,
Ciri is going to score with his speed. Just trying to drive something, hit
something on the nose, and allow Ciri to use his speed."
It was Ellsbury's third walk-off hit of his career and
first since Aug. 3, 2011 against the Indians. Aside from the go-ahead hit,
Ellsbury enjoyed one of his best games of the season, going 4-for-5 with a
double, a stolen base, a run and two RBIs.
Since 1918, the only other Red Sox player to record four hits
on his birthday was Carl Yastrzemski in 1961 and 1976. But lifting the Red Sox
to their first walk-off win since July 19 proved to be satisfying enough for
"It's a great feeling," Ellsbury said. "We
just want to keep putting on that show for [the fans] the rest of the season
with the games we have left. It feels good. I knew if someone got on, I'm
coming up. Just trying to drive something, hit something hard, and give
ourselves a chance to win."
After a subluxed shoulder sidelined Ellsbury for the
first three months of the season, he's finally turning the corner at the plate.
During Sunday's game against the Blue Jays, he clobbered a home run and tallied
Ellsbury, however, believed it was "a matter of
time" for his offensive production to return. Red Sox manager Bobby
Valentine certainly appreciated the timing against the vaunted Yankees.
"Well we've seen a lot of walk-offs this year,"
Valentine said. "We haven't celebrated enough of them. I'm happy for the
guys. They're all smiling."
Especially the birthday boy.