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Jacoby Ellsbury pulls Red Sox from brink of disaster

September 26, 2011 |  7:28 am

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Jacoby Ellsbury has been a bright spot in what has been a disastrous month for the Boston Red Sox. And on Sunday night, he just may have saved the season for his team.

His three-run home run in the top of the 14th inning against the New York Yankees lifted the Red Sox to a 7-4 victory and a split of a day-night doubleheader. More importantly, it prevented them from slipping into a tie with the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League wild-card race, which Boston led by nine games at the beginning of September.

Ellsbury, who also hit a pair of home runs in a 6-2 loss to the Yankees earlier in the day, now has seven home runs and a batting average of over .350 for the month of September, during which his team has gone 6-18. He also is the seventh player in major league history to have at least 30 home runs, 30 steals, 100 RBIs, 100 runs and 200 hits in a season.

But none of that likely would have mattered much if Ellsbury hadn't hit home run No. 31 late Sunday night to give the Red Sox a one-game lead over the Rays with just three games remaining in the season.

“This is a huge win. It allows us to control our own destiny,” Ellsbury said. “We know if we win out that we're in. We don't have to scoreboard-watch or anything like that. We know if we play like we can, it's in our hands. We know what's at stake, so it's definitely a huge win for us.”

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-- Chuck Schilken

Photo: Jacoby Ellsbury hits a three-run home run in the 14th inning to save Boston's bacon against the New York Yankees. Credit: Anthony Gruppuso / US Presswire

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