Red Sox center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury, who has missed seven games with a fractured bone in his right foot, has started working out in preparation for a comeback.
Manager John Farrell said on Friday that Ellsbury did some work in the pool at Fenway Park and light exercises in the trainer’s room.
“Still no projected date of return,” Farrell said.
The rehab work will continue based on how Ellsbury can tolerate it. Friday was the date doctors projected for Ellsbury to start working out.
“He’s on target as far as that initial plan,” Farrell said.
Ellsbury was found last weekend to have a small fracture on the surface of the navicular bone and immediately was put in a walking boot to immobilize his foot.
The Red Sox have said they expect Ellsbury to return before the end of the regular season. His agent, Scott Boras, also believes that will be the case.
Ellsbury has not been available to the media for eight days.
Dustin Pedroia’s only full day off this season was June 16. The next may come Saturday. He left the clubhouse with his left hand wrapped in a bandage after getting an anti-inflammatory shot.
Pedroia also met with Farrell after the game. The second baseman has been playing with ligament damage in his left thumb since Opening Day.
The Sox have enough infielders to cover Pedroia’s absence. And with the third game of the series not until Sunday night, he will have time to let the injection take effect.
The Sox started their final homestand Friday with an 8-4 win over the Yankees, improving to 48-25 at Fenway Park. Only the Braves, at 51-21, have a better record at home.
It’s the most home wins for the Sox since the 2009 team was 56-25 at Fenway. The Sox won an embarrassing 34 games at home last season and only 45 in 2011.
“The one thing that stands out is our guys respond to the environment in here,” Farrell said. “Any time that you come off the road, [especially] after a long road trip, the energy that is created in here, our guys thrive on it.
“I’m not going to say we do things differently from an offensive standpoint to play to the ballpark. But I think our guys love playing in this ballpark, this city, and in front of these people.”
Outside of Shane Victorino, who was signed in part to patrol the big pasture that is right field at Fenway, the Sox did not design their roster with the park in mind. But dealing with the expectations that come with playing in Boston was part of the equation.
“The bigger picture was who would embrace the environment here and the challenges presented,” Farrell said. “That’s common through the eight or nine free agents that were signed.”
The Red Sox are comfortably in first place. But Farrell is paying attention to the wild-card race —
“I’m not even considering who might we see,” he said. “We’ve got to get there first and that’s the beacon, what we’re doing. Not so much what anybody else is doing.”
“It’s great. I can’t imagine what the final week of the season is going to be. The second wild card has really played into that. The meaning to every game played that final week is heightened.
“This year might be tenfold what it was a year ago.”
No problem for Peavy
Jake Peavy left Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., with tape on his right wrist Thursday night after being struck by a line drive. But he was unencumbered on Friday and said he felt fine. “That was kind of a glancing blow fortunately. There’s no residual effect,” Farrell said . . . The Yankees will not have fleet center fielder Brett Gardner for the series and perhaps not until next season because of a strained oblique muscle on the left side of his rib cage suffered during Thursday’s game in Baltimore. “Rib cages don’t heal very quickly and sometimes it depends on the individual, a little bit too. But it’s not like it’s just going to be a few days,” manager Joe Girardi said. “It is possible it could be the rest of the year? Yeah.” In 16 games against the Sox this season, Gardner hit .322 with an .878 OPS.
The Red Sox are having “Dollar Beard Night” on Wednesday against the Orioles. In honor of the many bearded Sox players, any fan with a beard (real or fake) can get in for $1 at Gate E starting at 5:40 p.m. . . . Triple A Pawtucket lost Game 3 of the International League Governors’ Cup Finals to Durham, 2-0 in 14 innings, Friday night at McCoy Stadium. Durham leads the best-of-five series, 2-1. Game 4 is Saturday night in Pawtucket. Once the PawSox’ season is over, the Red Sox plan to promote several players . . . Righthanded reliever Jose De La Torre, who was designated for assignment Tuesday, was claimed off waivers by the Brewers . . . The Sox are 11-6 against the Yankees . . . The Sox have 21 more victories than last season, the biggest improvement (other than strike seasons) since the 1946 team (104-50) won 33 games more than the 1945 club (71-83) . . . David Ortiz has been intentionally walked 24 times, a high for him and the most for a Sox player since Manny Ramirez had 28 in 2003 . . . There was a moment of silence before the game to commemorate the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. Haven Fyfe Kiernan, the widow of one of the victims, threw out the first pitch.Peter Abraham can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @PeteAbe.