PORTLAND – Jacoby Ellsbury drew a leadoff walk in the first inning, starting the one and only rally the Portland Sea Dogs would need.

Ellsbury also drew a packed house to Hadlock Field as the Sea Dogs used two first-inning runs to beat the New Britain Rock Cats 2-1 Tuesday night before 7,368.

Felix Doubront (4-0) picked up the win with seven shutout innings.

Ellsbury, the former Sea Dogs and now popular Boston Red Sox outfielder, made a rehab appearance with the Sea Dogs, going 0 for 3 with the one walk and a run scored.

“It was pretty exciting to come back and see that crowd,” Ellsbury said. “I felt pretty good out there.”

Ellsbury’s stay in Portland was brief. He is expected in Boston today for further evaluation. He could return later in the week.

But another Red Sox outfielder is coming to Hadlock.

Mike Cameron, who is also on the disabled list with an abdominal tear, is scheduled to play for the Sea Dogs tonight at 6.

Cameron, 37, played with Triple-A Pawtucket last week and was thought to be ready for the majors.

But the Red Sox decided he needed further rehab.

Ellsbury, 26, went on the DL after fracturing four ribs in an April 11 collision with third baseman Adrian Beltre. Ellsbury still feels pain.

“Even when I get my heart rate up, and start expanding my lungs … the breaks were right at my chest,” Ellsbury said.

The big test, Ellsbury said, would be when he has to dive for a ball, or dive back to first base during a pick-off attempt.

Neither happened on Tuesday.

The closest Ellsbury came to contact was when he ran in for shallow fly ball to left in the sixth inning.

Shortstop Yamaico Navarro backed up and left fielder Ryan Kalish charged in. Kalish grabbed it while Ellsbury ran behind him.

“We were both yelling at the same time,” Kalish said. “It was loud with all the people.

“If I hit him, I would have gone into (the clubhouse) and stayed in a corner all night.”

Ellsbury led off the first inning with a walk against Carlos Gutierrez (0-3).

He drew no pick-off throws and moved to second base on Che-Hsuan Lin’s single to left.

Kalish hit a dribbler down the first base line. Gutierrez fielded it and threw the ball into right field.

Ellsbury scored standing up. Lin then scored on Luis Exposito’s sacrifice fly to center.

Doubront (2.51 ERA) put in his finest performance this year, holding the Rock Cats to seven hits and one walk, while striking out six.

Doubront gave up a leadoff triple to Ben Revere and stranded him with a strikeout, pop out to third in foul territory and, after a walk, a fly out to right.

Even though he used 24 pitches in the first inning, Doubront got efficient and ended with 94 pitches (63 strikes).

“My goal is to go deep in the game,” Doubront said.

While the Sea Dogs (21-15) welcomed their celebrity addition to the roster Tuesday, the New Britain Rock Cats needed an icebreaker before the game to reintroduce themselves.

With New Britain off to a terrible start (now 7-29), the Minnesota Twins shook things up with eight roster moves on Monday.

The new-look Rock Cats got to reliever Robert Coello for a run on four singles in the eighth. Coello threw a 1-2-3 ninth with three flyouts to record his first save.


NOTES: Shortstop Jose Iglesias, in his first year as a pro, got his sixth day off. “It’s going to be a long season for him,” Beyeler said … First baseman Anthony Rizzo missed the game for personal reasons but is expected back today.


Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at: [email protected]


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