NEW YORK — Jacoby Ellsbury stole second base with two outs in the eighth inning Thursday night with the Red Sox leading the Philadelphia Phillies by five runs. It gave him five steals in the game, a team record.
But it also left him with an injury.
Ellsbury did not play in Friday night’s 4-1 loss to the Yankees because of tightness in his left groin, the result of the final steal.
He was in the lineup originally posted, then taken out a few minutes later.
“It tightened up on me,” Ellsbury said before Friday’s game. “I just want to play it safe today.”
Ellsbury said he felt pain when he broke for second base. He stole the base easily, then jogged to third when the throw from Phillies catcher Erik Kratz went into center field.
Ellsbury was walking cautiously in the clubhouse. He said he wasn’t sure about playing Saturday.
“We’ll go day to day, we’ll see how it is tomorrow,” he said. “I got in here early and got all the treatment and everything. It stayed tight. I want to do the right thing so it doesn’t get worse.”
Saturday, manager John Farrell said, is questionable.
“Still a little stiff throughout the course of the game,” he said.
Jackie Bradley Jr. replaced Ellsbury in center field and was 0 for 3. Daniel Nava took Ellsbury’s spot as the leadoff hitter and was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts and a double play.
Farrell said Bradley would play center field for as long as Ellsbury is out.
“We’re expecting this to be a day to day and hopefully not too long of a situation,” Farrell said. “We’ll treat it accordingly.”
The Sox have a day off Monday, so they could give Ellsbury four consecutive days off if needed. Farrell isn’t sure what will happen for the final two games of the Yankees series.
“After that we’ll get a better sense and a gauge of what his capacity will be,” Farrell said. “That’s probably the extent I could say right now.”
Ellsbury is 16 of 40 in his last 10 games with six walks.
“I always want to be in there, especially a game like this,” said Ellsbury. “It’s always fun to play. Take care of it and shouldn’t be a problem.”
When Nava was called out on strikes in the eighth inning, he stayed at the plate and demonstrably argued with umpire Lance Barksdale. Farrell had to intercede or Nava might have been ejected for the first time in his career.
The second pitch that was called a strike by Barksdale was high and well outside the strike zone, based on replays.
“I’ve never done that,” Nava said. “I can’t comment because I’ll get in trouble. But [Barksdale] cannot comment and that’s fine. There were multiple pitches. It’s unfortunate that was the case, but that’s what he called.”
Iglesias rolls on
Jose Iglesias was 2 for 3 with a double. He is 20 of 46 (.435) in 14 games this season. Iglesias has reached base safely in 13 games and has had multiple hits in all four games he has played against the Yankees.
This is the same player who hit .202 in 33 games for Triple A Pawtucket after being optioned early in the season.
“He’s been confident both times he’s been with us this year. He believes in himself and feels he can excel at this level,” Farrell said. “He’s doing that. He’s doing a very good job defensively and at the plate for us.”
Iglesias has been playing third base with Will Middlebrooks on the disabled list. Middlebrooks is expected to return next Saturday, the day he is eligible.
Iglesias is making a good case to remain on the roster as a utility player in place of Pedro Ciriaco.
Felix feeling fine
Felix Doubront, who starts against the Yankees Saturday night, had a 6.40 earned run average in his first six appearances this season. He has a 3.18 in three starts since.
“I feel a lot more like myself,” Doubront said. “The work I’m doing [between starts] is paying off for me.”
The Red Sox adjusted Doubront’s routine, increasing the intensity of his work. The hope was to improve his mechanics and increase his velocity, which was flagging at the start of the season.
“It’s been very clear that the action of his secondary stuff, the finish to his curveball has been better,” Farrell said. “He feels more confident about himself, but in the way he speaks when you have conversation with him. Over the last three starts, that’s been much improved.”
Doubront has a 2.73 ERA in 29⅔ innings against the Yankees in his career, 2.52 in 25 innings last season.
Buchholz on Sunday
Clay Buchholz, who faces the Yankees on Sunday night, will be pitching on 10 days of rest. But he doesn’t expect the long break to adversely affect him.
“Outside of three days, I’ve been throwing the whole time,” said Buchholz, who had a start skipped because of tightness in the AC joint in the front of his shoulder. “I actually feel pretty good with what I’ve been throwing.”
Buchholz threw some pitches from flat ground on Friday and will throw 8-12 pitches off the bullpen mound Saturday. The righthander is 7-0 with a 1.73 earned run average.
“I didn’t want to miss a start, but maybe it’ll be a good thing for me in the long term,” Buchholz said. “We all end up getting a little break during the season usually and hopefully this is the only one for me.”
Ready to go
Shane Victorino and Middlebrooks are scheduled to take batting practice on the field Saturday and remain on track to be activated from the disabled list when they are eligible. For Victorino, that would be Wednesday . . . The Red Sox traded Triple A righthander Graham Godfrey to the Pirates for cash considerations. Godfrey was 4-3 with a 3.83 ERA in 14 games for Pawtucket, four of them starts. The Red Sox obtained him from Oakland in November . . . The Sox were 15-15 in May after an 18-8 April . . . Model Kate Upton, NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, and comedian Garry Shandling ventured out in the hot weather to catch the game.Peter Abraham can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.