Center fielder makes final A.L. MVP push

by: Submitted photo - Madras High School graduate Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox smashed three home runs Sunday, including a game-winning three-run blast to beat the New York Yankees to become the first player in Red Sox franchise history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in one season.

Jacoby Ellsbury made more Boston Red Sox history this past week.
   The Madras High School graduate became the first player in Red Sox franchise history to hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases in one season. Ellsbury blasted three home runs against the New York Yankees in a double header Sunday to push his career-high home run count to 31 on the season with two games to play.
   Ellsbury, with his 38 stolen bases, joined Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers as the only players to reach the exclusive 30/30 club this season in Major League Baseball.
   It seemed as if Ellsbury's day could not have gone any better, until he blasted his third home run on the day in the nightcap against the Yankees. His three-run blast in the 14th inning was the game-winning hit to help Boston defeat New York. The win was needed for the Red Sox, who are tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the American League wild card playoff spot entering Tuesday's games.
   Ellsbury, 6-foot-1, 186 pounds, leads the Red Sox with 31 home runs and leads all of baseball with 359 total bases.
   Even more impressive, he's the fourth major leaguer to compile 200 hits, 100 RBIs, 30 homers and 35 stolen bases in the same season.
   Much of the year, Ellsbury has been among chatter as to who will win the A.L. Most Valuable Player award. His game-winning three-run jack Sunday may have pushed him to the top of the list over New York's Curtis Granderson, Detroit's Justin Verlander and Toronto's Jose Bautista. But if Boston fails to make the playoffs, it's likely that the A.L. MVP award may go to another player.
   Ellsbury is hitting .323 on the season -- fifth in the A.L. -- to go with 103 RBIs and 210 hits.
   Boston visited Baltimore after press deadline Tuesday and plays its final regular-season game at Baltimore Sept. 28.
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