Ellsbury steals home as Red Sox sweep away Yankees

Updated: April 27, 2009, 3:47 AM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Jacoby Ellsbury felt like he was running in slow motion when he stole home.

It wasn't slow enough for Andy Pettitte and the New York Yankees.

Boston's fleet leadoff man slid safely under Jorge Posada's swipe during a three-run fifth inning that gave the Red Sox a 4-1 win Sunday night, a sweep of the three-game series and a 10-game winning streak.

"It was pretty exciting for me. When I was running down the line from third to home, everything felt like it was happening in slow motion," Ellsbury said. "That's probably another reason I tripped up a little bit."

He stumbled near home, deciding to slide head first rather than feet first when he saw lefty hitter J.D. Drew wouldn't swing and smack him in the helmet.

"The biggest thing is getting the courage to go, I guess. In that situation, bases loaded, you've got to make it," Ellsbury said. "I was pretty confident that I could get in there."

Posada had warned the left-handed Pettitte (2-1) to keep an eye on Ellsbury. But with the bases loaded and Boston leading 2-1, he went into a windup rather than pitching from the stretch. So when he rocked back in his delivery, Ellsbury made his move.

"I saw him in the corner of my eye and tried to speed up my windup," Pettitte said. "I couldn't speed up my windup fast enough to get him out."

In 2007, Toronto's Aaron Hill stole home against Pettitte on a pitch from the stretch.

"Sometimes I just get in the zone against the hitter," Pettitte said.

Ellsbury's first steal of home since before college was the majors' first since Torii Hunter of the Los Angeles Angels on Sept. 18.

"What we have is a really fast player with some guts," Boston manager Terry Francona said. "It certainly ignited the ballpark and we weren't knocking Andy around very much. It was a great play."

Justin Masterson (2-0) pitched 5 1-3 innings and Takashi Saito pitched the ninth for his second save for the Red Sox, who came from behind in all three games, went 9-0 on the homestand and are 12-6 after starting at 2-6.

"I don't want to get carried away with what happened in this homestand," Francona said, "but it was a good homestand."

Blue Jays 4, White Sox 3

At Chicago, Scott Rolen hit a go-ahead RBI single in the eighth inning and the Blue Jays won their sixth straight series.

Rod Barajas had three hits for the Blue Jays, who have won eight of 11.

Vernon Wells led off the eighth with a double off White Sox reliever Scott Linebrink (0-1).

After a shaky start, Toronto ace Roy Halladay (4-1) settled down and retired 12 of the last 14 batters he faced.

Orioles 8, Rangers 5

At Baltimore, Adam Jones hit a three-run homer in the sixth inning to rally the Orioles.

Jones hit an 0-1 slider from reliever Jason Jennings (0-1) into the seats in left-center to give Baltimore a 7-5 lead.

Chris Davis, David Murphy and Hank Blalock connected for the Rangers, who lead the major leagues with 38 home runs and have hit two or more in a game 14 times this season, also most in the majors.

Danys Baez (1-1) got the victory with three hitless innings. George Sherrill worked the ninth for his fourth save.

Indians 4, Twins 2

At Cleveland, Aaron Laffey pitched into the seventh inning and the Indians avoided a three-game sweep.

Laffey (2-0) allowed two runs and five hits in 6 1-3 innings.

The Indians were held to one run in each of the first two games of the series, but Ryan.

It was the shortest outing of the year for Glen Perkins (1-2), who allowed four runs in five innings.

Tigers 3, Royals 2

At Kansas City, Mo., Brandon Inge hit a two-run homer and Armando Galarraga pitched six solid innings for Detroit.

Inge connected in the second, driving a 1-1 pitch from Sidney Ponson (0-3) out to left with Jeff Larish aboard.

Galarraga (3-0) allowed one run and three hits, struck out seven and walked five.

Jose Guillen had an RBI single in the third but the Royals left the bases loaded when Alberto Callaspo grounded out. Kansas City is 2-for-17 with the bases loaded this season.

Athletics 7, Rays 1

At Oakland, Calif., Kurt Suzuki drove in three runs, and Dana Eveland pitched into the sixth inning for the A's.

Every Oakland starter got at least one hit and seven different players scored for the A's, who won their second straight after a season-high five-game skid.

Eveland (1-1) allowed one run and four hits in 5 2-3 innings.

Andy Sonnanstine (0-3), who has gone 11 consecutive regular-season starts without a win, gave up 10 hits.

Angels 8, Mariners 0

At Anaheim, Calif., Howie Kendrick homered and had a career-high four RBIs, Jered Weaver combined with two relievers on a five-hitter, and the Angels avoided a three-game sweep.

Weaver (2-1) allowed three hits over seven innings.

Kendrick had a pair of RBI singles in addition to his two-run homer in the second inning against former Angels left-hander Jarrod Washburn (3-1). Washburn was charged with six runs and eight hits over 5 1-3 innings

Juan Rivera hit his first home run of the season and Torii Hunter had three hits, including an RBI single, to raise his average to .338.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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