Ellsbury single makes playoff history

Ellsbury single makes playoff history

BOSTON -- Jed Lowrie was streaking home from third base, but he never imagined the run would actually count.

After all, Red Sox teammate Jacoby Ellsbury had just popped up to shallow center field with two outs and the bases loaded in the second inning of Sunday's Game 3 of the American League Division Series against the Angels.

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"That's that moment of letdown," Lowrie said after the Red Sox's 5-4 loss in 12 innings. "You're disappointed when he popped up."

But the disappointment soon turned to disbelief.

Thanks to some miscommunication between second baseman Howie Kendrick and center fielder Torii Hunter, Ellsbury's popup fell in. And with all three runners going with two out, all three were able to score, as the Red Sox took a 3-1 lead on Angels starter Joe Saunders.

Kendrick had been backing up to catch the ball, but he backed off. And Hunter never stepped forward to claim it.

"I'm the center fielder," Hunter said. "I've got to call the ball. That's a tough play. Miscommunication. I've got to call him off. That's the bottom line."

In the end, this play didn't seal the bottom line of the ballgame, as the Angels would eventually recover and win the game.

But the play did make history. According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first three-run single notched in postseason play.

Ellsbury wasn't around after the game to comment on the play. He bolted quickly after the five-hour, 19-minute affair was complete.

Maybe he went to buy a lottery ticket, because luck was on his side in that at-bat.

"A three-RBI single," Lowrie said, shaking his head. "That's not something you'd expect to see happen."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.