BOSTON (AP) -The Boston Red Sox purchased the contract of first-round draft pick Jacoby Ellsbury from Triple-A Pawtucket and put him in the lineup for his major league debut in Saturday night's game against the Texas Rangers.
``This has been a lifelong dream, to play in the major leagues,'' Ellsbury said before the game, when he was in center field and batting ninth. ``I'm going to take the same approach I did in Double-A and Triple-A: Play hard and do whatever it takes to win. I'm here to play defense, get on base, and let the guys drive me in.''
The 23rd overall pick in the 2005 draft, Ellsbury hit a combined .323 with 29 stolen bases in 67 games at Double-A Portland and Pawtucket in 2007, his third professional season. Promoted from Portland on May 4, Ellsbury ranks fourth in the International League with 21 stolen bases.
``I don't know if there's anyway to ease the nerves,'' Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before the game. ``Other than having a child, it's probably the single most exciting day of your life. I don't know if I want to calm him. You only have one first time to be a first-time major league player.''
Ellsbury, 23, was called up to fill in for Coco Crisp, who missed his second consecutive game with an injured thumb.
``Coco dove on his thumb. We thought it would only be a day,'' Francona said. ``I don't know if anyone thought it would be more than a day. We don't know if we need to rush him to the DL.''
To make room for Ellsbury, right-hander Joel Pineiro was put on the 15-day disabled list with a right ankle sprain. He was injured working out before Monday's game in Seattle.
Pineiro pitched on Wednesday and was put on the DL retroactive to Thursday. He is 1-1 with a 5.04 ERA in 27 appearances with the Red Sox this season.
``It's a soft tissue injury,'' Francona said. ``The doctors didn't see him pitching in the next week, so we're going to put him on the DL until after the All-Star break.''
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