Ellsbury, Middlebrooks to return Friday

Boston rookie third baseman Will Middlebrooks will soon be back in the lineup. (Getty Images)

The Red Sox are about to get their star center fielder and rookie third baseman back. CBSSports.com Insider Jon Heyman reports that Jacoby Ellsbury will be actived in time for Friday's game in Tampa Bay. As well, Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe tweets that third baseman Will Middlebrooks should be back in the lineup that same night after missing the last seven games with a hamstring strain.

Ellsbury, who hasn't played since he injured his shoulder on April 13, is hitting .192/.300/.269 in 30 plate appearances. As for the 23-year-old Middlebrooks, he's hitting .298/.335/.538 with 10 home runs in 48 games.

With outfielder Carl Crawford also getting close to returning, the Red Sox are getting substantially healthier. Despite all the controversy surrounding their season and all the injuries, they rank second in the majors in runs scored and find themselves just 2.5 games out of playoff position. Don't be shocked if they make a serious run in the second half.

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CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. He's the author of three books, the most recent being Reggie Jackson: The... Full Bio

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