DENVER -- The Red Sox projected all along that speedy leadoff man Jacoby Ellsbury would return before the end of the regular season, and they were right.
Ellsbury made his first start since Sept. 5 on Wednesday night, opening the game with a single to right. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and scored twice on a night the Red Sox clubbed the Rockies, 15-5.
"Yeah it was a nice game back," Ellsbury said. "I'm definitely excited about it. I felt pretty good out there."
Ellsbury is coming off a compression fracture in his right foot, which he sustained on Aug. 29 and tried to play on for about a week before taking three weeks off.
"It's a healing bone," Ellsbury said. "It doesn't heal itself in a week. Yeah, I mean I was just happy to get out there, play, run around. Kind of did everything I needed to do. Sprint down the line, run for a ball in the gap, just do everything I needed to do. Plan was to get me three at-bats. We got 'em early today, so it was good."
Ellsbury came out of the game in the bottom of the fourth. He hopes to play in the final three regular-season games in Baltimore, perhaps getting up to nine innings.
The Red Sox don't open the postseason until Oct. 4.
The Red Sox held their own in Ellsbury's absence, going 10-6. But they are a much more dangerous team with him.
"Well, he can impact a game, obviously, as soon as he gets on base," Farrell said. "It's a threat. Every pitch that's thrown, he's got the potential to steal. And what's been most impressive with the running game with him is his efficiency with 52 steals and I think only four caught."