SEATTLE -- Jacoby Ellsbury will be back home in his comfort zone in Fenway Park come Tuesday, but he’s never far from his comfort zone in Seattle.
Ellsbury grew up in Madras, Ore., and whenever the Red Sox come to Safeco Field, he’s greeted by dozens of signs and posters
"It’s always great to play here because of that," Ellsbury said. "I hear the fans here; it means a lot to me."
It’s also, he said, great to be playing for Boston, a team that is as supportive as its fans.
A case in point came Saturday night when manager Terry Francona caused a ruckus after Ellsbury was called safe, then out on a fourth-inning play at the plate with Seattle catcher Josh Bard.
Francona argued the call until he was finally ejected.
"You feel a lot of support when the manager fights for you like that," Ellsbury said. "That was a game when runs were going to be hard to come by, and it’s nice to know that he’s got your back when something like that happens."
Boston was thinking it would miss James Shields of the Rays in this series, but he’ll start against Lester on Tuesday after Tampa was rained out in New York on Sunday.
It will be Bedard's third start since being acquired in a trade with the Mariners, and he’s feeling something he’s never felt before -- it’s August and there’s a good chance he'll get play in the postseason.
"That’s never happened to me before, and I’m really looking forward to it," he said, "and looking to help us get there.
"It was a real shock at first to be traded, because I really liked Seattle, but I have to tell you I like where I’m at now. I’m looking forward to all these big games.’’
Youk returns: Kevin Youkilis was back at third base Sunday after missing a couple of games due to back stiffness.
Mike Aviles, who had started the last two games at third, was back on the bench after contributing three hits and a sacrifice fly while subbing for Youkilis.
"It’s good to know you can get that kind of production (from the bench)," Francona said.
It’s something that Francona has been looking for.
"It’s be nice to have that extra player, that true shortstop," Francona said. "Having those two both available should help us."