Jacoby Ellsbury hurts ankle in win

Updated: August 30, 2014, 3:37 AM ET
By Wallace Matthews | ESPNNewYork.com

TORONTO -- New York Yankees center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury injured his left ankle on a slide into home plate during the team's 6-3 win against the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Tests came back negative.

"It's sore,'' said Ellsbury, limping noticeably after the game. "It's not going to feel great, but hopefully it's good enough for me to play tomorrow."

Ellsbury was injured trying to score from third on a Derek Jeter bouncer to the infield in the top of the ninth. Ellsbury slid into Blue Jays catcher Dioner Navarro with his left leg, which became entangled in Navarro's shinguard.

Ellsbury originally was ruled safe by plate umpire Mike Everitt, but the call was overturned after Blue Jays manager John Gibbons challenged. Ellsbury remained in the game for the bottom of the ninth inning but did not have to field a ball in center.

"My foot got caught up and it bent it, not allowing me to touch home plate,'' he said. "You play the game hard, things like that are going to happen.''

Ellsbury hit a two-run home run off Blue Jays reliever Aaron Loup in the seventh inning -- the first home run the left-hander had allowed to a left-handed batter in his career, a span of 233 at-bats. He has been one of the Yankees' hottest hitters of late, going 9-for-17 with three home runs, seven RBIs and five runs scored in the team's just-concluded three-game series against the Tigers in Detroit.

He leads Yankees regulars in hitting (.286) and RBIs (64).

"It's frustrating because he's playing so well, so we'll have to wait and see,'' Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "I'm not sure what he's going to be for us tomorrow. I can't tell you that he's going to play. I can't tell you that.''

Girardi was angered because he thought Navarro had blocked the plate in violation of recently instituted Major League Baseball rules designed to eliminate plate collisions.

"That's been one of my points of contention with this rule,'' Girardi said. "When a guy's running basically down the baseline, in a straight line, if the [catcher's] foot is on the line, that's blocking the plate. In that situation, he's got no place to slide. You're asking him to deviate from his path and maybe slide with his hand, and if he gets his hand stepped on, that could be the rest of the year. So I think that's a part that they have to clean up. I still don't understand it.''

Asked whether he thought Navarro was blocking the plate, Ellsbury said, "If he's not there, I easily score. That's as far as I'll go with that."

Ellsbury was treated in the trainer's room for about a half-hour after the game. He was still limping afterward, his ankle heavily wrapped.

"I'm going to call [Girardi] first thing in the morning when I wake up and let him know how it feels,'' Ellsbury said. "We'll go from there as far as a playing standpoint for tomorrow. Hopefully it's day to day, but I'm not ruling out tomorrow.''

Wallace Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He covers the Yankees for ESPNNewYork.com after working for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
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