Ellsbury out of lineup after Friday's HBP

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Ellsbury out of lineup after Friday's HBP

By Joe Haggerty
CSNNE.com Bruins InsiderFollow @hackswithhaggs

KANSAS CITY Jacoby Ellsbury appeared to be okay after getting hit in the small of the back with a fastball in Friday nights win, but he wont be in the lineup for the Sox Saturday night against the Royals.

Ellsbury has missed only one of Bostons 124 games this season and was due for a rest anyway, and the fleet-footed centerfielder will miss at least one game with a giant, honking bruise stemming from an Everett Teaford fastball that caught him directly in the numbers. An MRI on his back came back negative and now it's a day-to-day injury with the outfielder hopeful he can play on Sunday.

Im sore," admitted Ellsbury, who said hes expecting hell be able to play Sundays series finale. "We just did some standard tests yesterday and everything came out the way we thought it would. Thats really it . . . theres nothing more to talk about. Ill resume normal activities today and well see how it goes."

Ellsbury finished out the half-inning by running the bases and scoring, but Sox manager Terry Francona pulled him from the game to start icing his back and getting treatment on the inflamed area. Francona said that Ellsbury will get treatment for the rest of the day on Saturday, and theyll give the ill-placed bruise a chance to calm down a bit while he works through the pain.

He was checked out just like you would check out anybody else. He got hit pretty good, said Francona. I spoke with the doctors and hes got a big, old-fashioned contusion on his back. Hes going to try to go down there and swing, and well see how loose he can get swinging. Well go by how he feels over the next couple of days.

It hurts. He got hit pretty hard.

Francona wasnt ruling out Ellsburys availability for Sunday afternoons series finale, but also cautioned that hes pretty sore, so well see. Darnell McDonald will replace Ellsbury in centerfield, batting eighth, and Marco Scutaro will hop into the leadoff spot normally occupied by the injured outfielder.

Joe Haggerty can be reached at jhaggerty@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Joe on Twitter at http:twitter.comHackswithHaggs.

McAdam: Red Sox at a loss after excruciating defeat

McAdam: Red Sox at a loss after excruciating defeat

There are still two full months of games left on the schedule and who knows what might happen in that time, or what else might befall the Red Sox.

But for now, it's no stretch to suggest that Thursday's excruciating 2-1 setback in Anaheim constitutes the worst loss of the season to date. The point hardly seems debatable.

Consider:

THE TIMING: This was the start of the longest, and in many ways, most challenging road trip of the season, with 11 games in 11 days. It comes immediately after a homestand that was highly disappointing, featuring a mere split with the last-place Minnesota Twins and a sweep at the hands of the otherwise mediocre Detroit Tigers.

There's been a great deal of attention focused on how many road games the Sox have to play through the rest of the season. Winning the opener -- and snapping a three-game losing streak in the process - would have felt like a strong statement that the club was ready and able to meet the challenges of the schedule.

THE STARTING PITCHER: The loss wiped out a standout performance by David Price, who may well hold the key to whether the Red Sox grab a playoff spot this fall.

Price has been woefully inconsistent in his first season with the Red Sox, alternating between brief stretches of dominance and periods of underwhelming outings.

For a change Thursday night, Price seemed on the verge of winning one of those "statement'' games, when he would make one measly run in the third inning stand up. There have been too many times, given his standing as the team's No. 1 starter, in which Price has pitched just well enough to lose -- like the pitcher's duels in which he came up short against the likes of Madison Bumgarner and Chris Tillman.

But on Thursday, Price didn't buckle. And never mind that he was matched against an aging and depleted Jered Weaver. Price had next-to-nothing with which to work, but he protected the 1-0 lead with a determination he has seldon shown in Boston.

And for his effort to go wasted sets an inauspicious marker for this demanding trip. There was something symbolic about having Price set the tone at the start with a low-scoring, must-have game.

He did his part. Unfortunately for Price, that wasn't enough.

THE WAY IN WHICH IT HAPPENED: Walk-off losses are never pleasant, whether they come on a homer, or a base hit up the middle.

But considering that the Red Sox had the ability to turn Daniel Nava's tapper to first into a game-ending double play, and instead, saw it result in a two-run throwing error on the part of Hanley Ramirez, makes it all the more crushing.

Brad Ziegler, who gave up a go-ahead game-winning homer in the final game of the homestand Wednesday, essentially did his job in the ninth. He got Mike Trout to hit a chopper, which resulted in an infield single. And he kept the ball on the ground and in the infield, with the Sox bringing the infield in with the bases loaded and one out.

Better execution, and the Red Sox walk away with a thrilling 1-0 victory to begin their West Coast trek. Instead, they walk off the field, heads down, with the wrong precedent being set.