DETROIT -- The Red Sox didn't get the type of offensive production they were hoping for Wednesday night, but the blame certainly can't be put on Jacoby Ellsbury.
The Boston center fielder went 4-for-5 at the plate with a double and a triple in the Red Sox's 7-3 loss to the Tigers. He also added an RBI in the top of the ninth inning that almost sparked a rally against Detroit closer Joaquin Benoit, but ultimately, the rest of his teammates came up a little short.
It marked the fifth time in Ellsbury's postseason career that he has enjoyed at least a three-hit game, which allowed him to surpass Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz for the most in franchise history.
"That's big -- him and [Shane Victorino] are a big part of our offense," Boston catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. "Those guys get on base and they can steal, they can do different things. They do a great job of holding them and keeping them close.
"Any time those guys are on base in a big ballpark like this, triples happen, doubles happen, those guys can score."
Ellsbury's big night at the plate marked the 27th time in postseason history that a player had at least two extra-base hits and four hits overall while also scoring a run, according to Baseball-Reference.com.
The timing of Ellsbury's potential hot streak couldn't be any more appropriate. Boston led the Majors in runs this season, but has struggled so far against Detroit in the American League Championship Series, which is knotted at 2-2. The Red Sox have a total of 10 runs in four games and were no-hit through the first five innings in three of those.
The challenge won't get any easier in the coming days, with Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander scheduled for the next three games. But there is some cause for optimism, because even though Boston managed to score only three runs on Wednesday, the club did record 12 hits.
Ellsbury had just one prior to Game 4 and now has five in the series. The hope is that the possible momentum will carry over into the rest of the ALCS, and this time result in more runs crossing the plate.
"Guys swung the bats good," Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "There were some good at-bats, we did some good things. Ells was great and a lot of guys put some good swings on the balls. That's encouraging going into tomorrow."