BOSTON -- After a five-game absence, Jacoby Ellsbury picked up right where he left off Thursday night against the Rangers at Fenway Park.
Returning to his customary leadoff spot and playing center field, Ellsbury went 4-for-5 with two doubles and two runs scored, the last of which tied the game in the seventh inning of Boston's 6-3 win.
"Obviously he's not running at full speed, but the way he's swinging the bat, he continued that here tonight, both against good left-handed pitching and the right-handers that came in there," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "It's really good to have him back in the lineup."
Ellsbury had been in the midst of his best offensive stretch of the season when he suffered a left groin injury while setting a Red Sox record with five stolen bases on May 30 against the Phillies. In the five-game stretch before the injury, he went 11-for-23 (.478).
The club will continue to monitor Ellsbury on a daily basis for a while and give him a rest if needed.
"It's something that we'll continue to talk with him about as he comes out of each game, monitoring it," said Farrell. "We kind of left it in his hands as far as how aggressive he'll be on the basepaths. But the fact he was at least able to show some explosiveness on the field yesterday -- otherwise we wouldn't have put him in there. We don't want to restrict him completely of any kind of base-stealing opportunities. But all things considered, we'll balance all that and monitor how he's coming out of each game."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.