Everything else in Jacoby Ellsbury’s arsenal had been there.
The 33 stolen bases. The 28 extra-base hits. The 54 runs. The 14-game hitting streak.
They were all key ingredients in a Red Sox offense that came into Independence Day leading the majors in runs.
But one thing Ellsbury was missing was power.
Ellsbury isn’t known for home run binges. Aside from 2011, when he went on a 32-homer tear, Ellsbury’s power has come only in brilliant flashes.
This year he hit his first home run six games into the season.
Seventy-three games and 318 at-bats later, he was still looking for his second.
When he stepped up in the eighth inning Thursday against the Padres, the last thing the Sox needed from him was a long ball.
He already had a pair of hits and a pair of runs. The Sox were up five runs.
But leading off the inning, Padres reliever Burch Smith fed Ellsbury the kind of pitch he hadn’t seen in almost three months.
Ellsbury launched the 1-and-0 changeup deep behind the Sox bullpen. The blast put the final brushstroke on an 8-2 win and allowed him to dust off his home run trot.
“It felt good,” he said. “It was nice to trot around the bases.”
Manager John Farrell acknowledged it was overdue.
“It’s been a while,” Farrell said. “Three hundred-plus at-bats, I think, since his last home run. He’s in such a good place right now offensively . . . the home runs I think in his case are just a bonus.”
After John Lackey’s strong start Tuesday and a walkoff win Wednesday, the Sox unloaded in the series finale, racking up 18 hits to complete a three-game sweep of the Padres.
They finished 8-1 on their homestand and will take that momentum on a 10-game West Coast swing that starts Friday with the Los Angeles Angels.
Every Sox starter got in the hit column.
Shane Victorino, Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz, Mike Napoli, Jonny Gomes, Ryan Lavarnway, and Jose Iglesias all recorded two hits.
Pedroia got the Sox on the board with a two-run double in the first that gave him 49 RBIs for the season.
Iglesias flirted with an inside-the-park home run in the fourth. His fly ball drifted to the curving fence in right field, bounced in fair territory, and caromed off the foul pole, skipping away from Padres outfielder Will Venable.
Two runs scored as Iglesias got the stop sign at third. But Iglesias was sent back to second and Lavarnway to third when the play was ruled a ground-rule double.
“In either case, whether it hits the foul pole or it hits a fan, it’s a ground-rule double,” Farrell said. “So they got the call right.”
Working with an early lead, rookie righthander Allen Webster cruised to his first major league win, giving up two runs on five hits over six innings. He walked four and struck out four.
Entering with just two extra-base hits since June 1, Napoli went 2 for 5 with a double and two runs, seemingly benefitting from getting the day off Wednesday.
“[He had a] full, compact swing, didn’t miss pitches when they were in the middle of the zone for him,” Farrell said. “Good to see him drive a good fastball to center field off of [Tyson] Ross. Hard-hit base hit in the previous at-bat. So, hopefully this is the start of something for him.”
The last person to join the hit parade was Ortiz.
When he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two out in the sixth inning, the Padres had traces of life even though the Sox had spent most of the afternoon squeezing it out of them.
It was a three-run game, and everyone in the lineup had at least one hit except for Ortiz, who had grounded out, lined out, and flied out.
With a chance for insurance runs, Ortiz took advantage, sending a 3-and-2 slider into right field on a zip line for a two-run single.
“I think the overall approach is still consistent with us, and that is to grind out at-bats,” Farrell said. “The fact is today we were able to bunch 18 hits together and just a very good offensive approach and a consistent one.”Julian Benbow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.