Red-hot Ellsbury leads Yankees into opener against Angels
Los Angeles Angels starter C.J. Wilson also tends to thrive in the Bronx.
Ellsbury looks to continue his hot hitting at home and help the New York Yankees win five straight there as they try to beat Wilson for the first time in four years Friday night.
Ellsbury leads the Yankees with a .337 average while hitting eight doubles and driving in 11 runs. The center fielder doubled on two of his three hits Thursday and had three RBIs in a 14-5 win at Boston in his first series there since leaving the Red Sox for the Yankees.
He had five RBIs and four of his five hits went for extra bases in helping New York take two of three in the set.
Ellsbury may be looking forward to a nine-game homestand since he's batting .367 in the Bronx. However, he's 5 for 29 (.172) over his last seven meetings with the Angels and 2 for 10 against Wilson (2-2, 4.21 ERA) in the past two years.
Wilson is 3-0 with a 2.08 ERA over his last five starts against New York, with four of those outings coming at Yankee Stadium. The left-hander is 2-0 with a 1.95 ERA in those starts, but he doesn't think his past experience against the Yankees is much of a factor.
"It's a different team," Wilson told the Angels' official website. "You're bringing in a guy I've really never faced before in (Brian) McCann. (Carlos) Beltran I faced a couple times, and Ellsbury obviously was in Boston last year. So all those guys coming into the lineup, it's a very big turnover.
"The Yankees are a team that is always good, they always play well at home."
Wilson, though, may be more concerned with rebounding from his shortest outing of the season. He gave up four runs and seven hits - two homers - while walking three and throwing 111 pitches in five innings of a 5-2 loss at Detroit on Saturday.
While Wilson is trying to continue his success against the Yankees, Hiroki Kuroda (2-1, 4.07) is looking to do the same versus the Angels (10-11).
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.48 ERA over his last four matchups, and he didn't allow a run in each of those victories. He gave up three hits in eight innings of a 2-1 home win over Los Angeles on Aug. 12.
Kuroda is 9-2 with a 2.45 ERA over his last 15 starts at Yankee Stadium, winning both this year despite giving up six runs in 12 2-3 innings.
He didn't get a decision on the road last Friday, allowing three runs while leaving with two outs in the sixth inning of an 11-5 defeat to Tampa Bay.
Kuroda will have to contend with Mike Trout, who is 3 for 7 against him. The 22-year-old phenom has hit .383 in 15 games against New York, and he's 12 for 28 while hitting safely in all seven in the Bronx.
Trout owns a .352 average in the past 12 games after going 2 for 4 and driving in a run in Wednesday's 5-4 loss at Washington.
J.B. Shuck LF
Mike Trout CF
Albert Pujols 1B
Raul Ibanez DH
Howie Kendrick 2B
Ian Stewart 3B
Erick Aybar SS
Hank Conger C
Collin Cowgill RF
C.J. Wilson LHP
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter SS
Carlos Beltran RF
Alfonso Soriano DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Brett Gardner LF
Brian Roberts 2B
Yangervis Solarte 3B
Hiroki Kuroda RHP