"That dirt was so hard, I didn't even have a chance to make a divot," Ellsbury said of his fourth-inning diving, tumbling catch on the warning track in the center-field triangle, robbing Texas' Ian Kinsler of extra bases and ending the inning.
Ellsbury left the game before the sixth with a right shoulder strain, with the diving catch a secondary factor. His slide into second base in the third, after Kinsler misplayed Ellsbury's hard grounder, scoring Jason Varitek and Mark Kotsay for the Sox's first two runs, was the primary factor.
"I banged it up a little bit on the slide and tried to play through it," Ellsbury said. "Then [I] had that catch in the outfield, landed on my right shoulder, and I think I made it even worse from that. But I iced it up, and it's not feeling too good right now, but we have the off-day [Monday]. [I'll] get it looked at. I think it'll be fine."
According to Ellsbury, the trainers said he suffered a strain in the acromioclavicular joint.
In his third at-bat, Ellsbury grounded out to first baseman Chris Davis in the fifth, further tweaking the shoulder.
"When he took that swing I think it was bothering him a little bit," said manager Terry Francona. "I didn't know that it made a lot of sense to keep him in there. ... The medical people think it's a strain of the AC joint, which is I guess good as opposed to something different. I think he just jammed his shoulder. He'll be sore [Monday]. He'll get looked at [Monday]."
Kotsay, who was activated from the disabled list before Tuesday's game and made his first appearance Wednesday, going 0-for-1 as a pinch-hitter, made his first start of the season Sunday. He started in right field in place of J.D. Drew, who is sidelined after getting a cortisone shot in his left shoulder Friday. With Ellsbury's departure, Kotsay moved from right field to center, and Rocco Baldelli went in to play right field.
Kotsay and Baldelli jokingly played rock-paper-scissors in the dugout to decide who would play which position.
"You know what, I don't know if I won or I lost," Baldelli said. "We did rock-paper-scissors and I won, but that didn't make a decision for us, because then after that, I think it was [bench coach Brad Mills who] came over and said, 'Kots, you're in center.'
"But I won, two out of three, and I won, 2-0. We both threw the scissors out in the second throw."
"Obviously, both of us don't really care where we play," Kotsay said. "And he actually won the right to play right, but the manager selected and made the final decision. I went paper and then rock and he beat me. He must have been in my head or something."
Kotsay, who went 2-for-3 with a home run and two runs scored, was happy with his first start, but would've preferred a victory.
"I had four at-bats previous to today [and went 0-for-4]," Kotsay said. "I just said, 'You try to get comfortable as quickly as possible and take good at-bats.' I had four previous at-bats and didn't have any results and fortunately, I had two results and two hits [today]. But they were pretty much meaningless [because] we didn't win."
Maureen Mullen is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.