The Town: Ellsbury sets stealing record as Red Sox cruise by Philly

Matthew Bedford | Freelance Contributor

The Boston Red Sox got off to a quick start Thursday night, scoring four runs in the first inning, ending the night with a 9-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Jacob Ellsbury exploded on the offensive side, setting a club record with five stolen bases.  He got on base five times, chipped in three hits, a walk and hit by pitch.

“It’s pretty neat,” Ellsbury said of setting the record. “As long as the Red Sox have been around. It’s pretty special.”

Ellsbury, 29, in his final season on his contract, has been a big part of Bostons success this year. Besides his strong defensive, out of 53 games he is batting .260/.325/.366 with 20 RBIs and 29 runs.

“Single-handedly, he changed the game,” Boston manager John Farrell said of Ellsbury. “When you have that kind of base-stealing threat, it’s a huge asset.”

Franklin Morales pitched his first game of the year in a Red Sox uniform after being taken off the disabled list. He allowed four hits in five innings, including two strike outs and two walks.

The Red Sox are headed to New York for a three-game series against the Yankees and timing couldn’t be better.  The Sox seem to be on a tear as of late, winning 11 of their last 16 games while the Yankees are in a slump, dropping seven out of their last 10.

Bostons Jon Lester (6-1, 3.34 ERA) will be taking the mound against New Yorks CC Sabathia (4-4, 3.96 ERA) Friday night in the Bronx. The Yankees are hoping to activate Kevin Youkilis and Mark Teixera from the disabled list.

“It could be a great boost for us,” manager Joe Girardi said. “I don’t want to put too much pressure on the guys coming back, but it depends on what kind of starts they get off to.”

The Red Sox are currently holding on to 1st place in the Eastern Conference with the Yankees just two games behind.

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