Notes: Ellsbury doing it all as of late

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Notes: Ellsbury doing it all as of late

By Maureen Mullen
CSNNE.com Follow @maureenamullen
BOSTON As if trying to assure his fellow players they did the right thing by electing him to the American League All-Star team, Jacoby Ellsbury has flat-out sizzled since his selection was announced.

Wednesday night's 3-for-5 performance in the Red Sox' 6-4 win over the Blue Jays puts him at 9-for-18 with a home run and two stolen bases from the time he was named to the team.

Im just relaxing, having fun, he said. Its such an honor to be selected by my peers to the All-Star Game. Those are the guys that see you play in spring training and during the regular season. I'm just relaxing and having fun.

Hes strong, manager Terry Francona said. Hes wiry strong. When he gets under a ball and it backspins, it goes a long way. Hes been terrific in the outfield, on the bases and at the plate. Hes settled into that leadoff role and hes been terrific.

Hes also made some sparkling plays in the field. One of those plays includes a catch that will never make it into the record books. With one out in the fifth inning Wednesday night, a runner on first and Eric Thames batting, Ellsbury ran into the center-field wall as he tracked down Thames' fly ball to deep center. The only problem: Time had been called and the catch didnt count. After a brief delay to clear up the confusion -- plate umpire Tim McClelland made no motion to indicate time had been called until after the ball was hit -- Thames eventually struck out.

I didnt realize the catch didn't count until I came in, Ellsbury said. I didnt even know what happened. Fortunately, I didnt crash into the wall harder than I did. Never had anything like that before.

But there was no doubt in the bottom of the first, when he launched a leadoff home run off Ricky Romero. It was Ellsburys third lead-off homer of the season, sixth of his career. It was also a career-high 10th home run of the season for him.

I was just trying to get a pitch I could drive, he said. Fortunately, he gave me something over the plate.

He was also a key in the Sox two-out, four-run rally in the fourth inning, with a double off thewall in left-center to score two runs.

I thought our whole lineup swung the bat well tonight, he said. Thats huge. Guys in scoring position. Any time you get the bottom of the order rolling, youre going to score some runs.

It was Ellsburys 12th three-hit game of the season. He is now batting .310 this season. Leading off games, he is batting .343.

When he first got here, I knew he was going to be a great player, said Tim Wakefield, who got the win. Hes got all five tools and hes taking advantage of the opportunity hes been given. Hes gotten better. Hes maturing. Hes an All-Star. What more can you say?

Right-hander Clay Buchholz, on the disabled list because of a lower back strain, returned to Boston after being examined Wednesday morning by Dr. Craig Brigham in Charlotte, N.C.

After the game, the Sox issued a statement from team medical director Dr. Tom Gill:

Clay Buchholz was seen in consultation by Dr. Craig Brigham today in Charlotte. Dr. Brigham agreed with the teams assessment that the back symptoms can be treated with rehabilitation. Clay will be advanced in his activities as his symptoms allow."

With Adrian Gonzalez getting a day off, Kevin Youkilis played first base for the first time this season. Batting in the fifth spot for the fifth time, he went 3-for-4 with a run scored and an RBI. raising his average to .277. He hit his 12th home run of the season leading off the second inning. It was his first home run in the fifth spot since June 14, 2008, at Cincinnati. He has reached base safely in a season-high 18 straight games. In his last 20 games since June 12, he as driven in 20 runs, batting .343 (24-for-70) with six doubles and four home runs.

Hes also been dealing with assorted dings, including being hit by a pitch in the upper left back from Brandon Morrow Monday night.

My left shoulder is a little tight, he said. Basically lifting it up a little bit and moving it backwards is a little tight. But hitting-wise, luckily, there's no affect; mainly its if I have to dive and throw the ball . . .

"Tomorrow and the next day, itll be feeling better. Its just one of those things that the fluid and swelling moves out and hopefully tomorrow Ill feel great.

Gonzalez missed his first game of the year, having played in all 85 games prior to Wednesday night. With Youkilis at first, Yamaico Navarro played third.

Gonzalez had a stiff neck last night, Francona said before Wednesday's game. We talked after the game and he said, You know, I know you talk about guys having days off and he hasnt had one. I said call me in the morning let me know how you're doing. He said, I really dont see the ball off Romero that well.

He hasnt had one day off yet. When players don't put up a fight about getting a day off, sometimes it's an indication guys need a day. So itll be good for him."

The game was delayed by rain for 40 minutes with two outs in the top of the eighth. Daniel Bard had started the inning, but Dan Wheeler came out after the delay.

Bard extended his career-high scoreless inning streak to 17, retiring the only two batters he faced before the delay. In that stretch, Bard has allowed just nine baserunners on five singles and four walks with 17 strikeouts.

Dustin Pedroia extended his on-base streak to a season-high 20 games with a first-inning single, passingEllsburys 19-game stretch for longest on the team this season.

The Sox batted around in the four-run fourth. It is the 17th time his season they have done so. They entered the game tied with Colorado for most times batting around this season with 16.

The Sox' five consecutive hits in the fourth tie their season high, with the fifth inning against the Blue Jays on June 11.

Left-hander Rich Hill, on the DL after Tommy John surgery, said the range of motion in his elbow and shoulder is almost back to normal.

Maureen Mullen is on Twitter at http:twitter.commaureenamullen.

Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

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Brian Johnson: 'Awesome feeling' after five-hitter vs. Mariners

BOSTON - Brian Johnson had quite a turnaround in his second time on Fenway Park's mound.

Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

The 26-year-old left-hander became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

"The last time I walked off the mound here was 2012 and I made two pitches," Johnson said. "Today I went nine innings. Today was pretty cool."

Johnson left Triple-A for a little over a month last season to get treatment for an anxiety issue.

"Obviously with some stuff that I've been gone through in my career, it's an awesome feeling" he said.

But despite the stellar outing, Johnson was optioned back to Triple-A after the game.

"That's the reality of the game," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We had a chance to congratulate him and yet option him back to Pawtucket, with David Price coming here Monday."

Brought up from the minors for the start, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. His only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

"Their guy threw the ball over the plate. He threw strikes," Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "I won't take anything away from what he did, but we're not swinging the bat very well."

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

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Johnson beats Mariners 6-0 for Red Sox' 6th straight win

BOSTON - Brian Johnson pitched a five-hitter in his first big league appearance at Fenway Park, and the Boston Red Sox stretched their winning streak to a season-high six games with a 6-0 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Saturday.

Brought up from Triple-A Pawtucket, Johnson (2-0) gave up five singles, struck out eight and walked none. The 26-year-old left-hander's only previous big league starts were at Houston on July 21, 2015, and at Toronto on April 18 this year.

Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher to throw a shutout in his first Fenway start since Pedro Martinez on April 11, 1998. In Johnson's first start in Fenway - his fourth as a professional - he sustained a season-ending facial fracture when he hit by a line drive while pitching for Class A Lowell in 2012.

Johnson was helped by a semi-leaping catch by center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. at the wall in the sixth, Bradley's diving grab of Nelson Cruz's sinking liner in the ninth and Bradley's game-ending running catch of Kyle Seager's drive.

Xander Bogaerts' RBI single triggered a three-run first inning and Bradley hit a two-run homer in the sixth

Shut out for the second straight day, Seattle has lost seven of eight.

Rob Whalen (0-1) gave up five runs and seven hits over 5 1/3 innings in his Mariners' debut, his first big league start since Aug. 23 for Atlanta. He is Seattle's 12th starting pitcher, the most in the major leagues.

Andrew Benintendi and Sandy Leon also had RBI singles in the first, when the Red Sox had two batters hit by pitches, two walks and two runners thrown out on the bases - Dustin Pedroia at third for the first out and Hanley Ramirez at the plate for the last.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Mariners: RHPs Hisashi Iwakuma and Felix Hernandez, both on the DL with right shoulder inflammation, threw bullpen sessions. Hernandez said he "felt really good."... LHP James Paxton (strained forearm) is set to come off the DL and pitch at home Wednesday.

Red Sox: Pedroia was back at second base after getting Friday off to rest his sore left knee and not play on a wet field. He was hit by a pitch on the right forearm his first time up and went 1 for 3. ... 3B Pablo Sandoval, on the DL with a sprained right knee, was expected to play nine innings Saturday night in a rehab assignment with Triple-A Pawtucket. Manager John Farrell didn't rule out that he could be activated next week.

UP NEXT

Mariners: RHP Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.30 ERA) gave up 10 runs and 14 hits over four innings in a 10-1 loss Tuesday at Washington.

Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (3-4, 4.35) has gone at least six innings in eight of nine starts.