Ellsbury's third-inning doubles tie mark
Red Sox rookie contributes to six-run inning against Rockies
DENVER -- Not only did Jacoby Ellsbury lead off the Red Sox's third-inning surge on Saturday night, but he also capped it. By doing both with doubles, he matched a World Series record.
Until Ellsbury -- the first rookie to accomplish the feat -- only Matt Williams of the Arizona Diamondbacks had hit two doubles in one inning of a World Series game. He pulled off that feat in Game 6 of the 2001 Fall Classic, part of an eight-run third inning that helped send that Series to a Game 7 and a dramatic comeback victory for Arizona.
Like Williams on that night, Ellsbury's doubles on Saturday set up one run scored and drove in another. But while Williams was an established veteran and a longtime offensive weapon in the middle of the order, Ellsbury's performance rewarded manager Terry Francona for putting the 24-year-old rookie in the leadoff spot against the Rockies in Game 3 of this World Series. And unlike Williams, Ellsbury hit both of his two-baggers against the same pitcher.
Though Rockies starter Josh Fogg held the Red Sox scoreless for two innings, Julio Lugo's second-inning double meant that Boston's batting order would reset at the top for the next inning once Fogg struck out Daisuke Matsuzaka to end the second. Ellsbury lined the first pitch of the third past third baseman Garrett Atkins and down the left-field line before David Ortiz doubled him in two batters later.
Three more hits and two walks kept the inning going until Ellsbury came up again following Matsusaka's two-out RBI single. Fogg put Ellsbury in an 0-2 hole before he lined a 2-2 pitch into shallow left-center field, just out of reach of diving center fielder Cory Sullivan. Lugo scored, and Matsuzaka scampered into third.
That was it for Fogg, and once Franklin Morales entered to retire Dustin Pedroia, Boston's third-inning rally was finished as well. But the surge continued the rash of doubles that have powered the Red Sox's offense in this series. Boston's eight doubles in a Game 1 rout on Wednesday night tied a World Series single-game record shared by the 1906 White Sox and 1925 Pirates. One night later, Mike Lowell doubled in the go-ahead run in a 2-1 victory in Game 2.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.