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Jacoby Ellsbury, despite sprained ankle, contributes pinch-hit double

The Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury hits a pinch-hit double

The Yankees' Jacoby Ellsbury hits a pinch-hit double in the ninth inning of a game against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Sunday, Aug.31, 2014. Credit: AP / Darren Calabrese

TORONTO - Jacoby Ellsbury's left ankle passed a significant test late Sunday afternoon, but that doesn't mean he and the Yankees are out of the woods.

Ellsbury sprained the ankle while sliding into the plate Friday night, missed Saturday's game and had difficulty walking without a limp both days. But he felt much better Sunday and, after jogging in the outfield and taking batting practice, tried to talk his way into the lineup.

He was unsuccessful, but Joe Girardi did call on him to pinch hit with one out in the ninth inning. Ellsbury blooped a double down the rightfield line and didn't appear to be favoring the ankle as he ran.

"I was going as hard as I could," Ellsbury said. "My adrenaline was pumping."

Still, he wasn't running as fast as he was before the injury. Ellsbury was scheduled to undergo an MRI after returning to New York Sunday night.

"I'm really happy with the progress that I've made," he said. "I was pleading to play today . . . Hopefully I'll be out there starting after the off day."

Everywhere an autograph

Players are accustomed to being asked for autographs in a variety of places, but they're usually safe while working out. That was not the case Sunday, though. Four on-field guests of a Rogers Centre security member pestered Mark Teixeira as he was pedaling on an exercise bike in the usually off-limits area just outside the clubhouse that leads to the visitors' dugout. Then the group, wielding a glut of memorabilia, interrupted Michael Pineda in the same area as he went through his pregame work.

Earlier this season at U.S. Cellular Field, where clubhouse security seems to be inside the clubhouse as much as outside it, a uniformed Chicago Police Department officer stopped Derek Jeter with a small batch of goods to sign. While that went on, a relative of a White Sox player tried to board the Yankees' team bus to take pictures but almost immediately was kicked out by the driver.

Tanaka plays catch

Masahiro Tanaka, who felt "general arm soreness" a day after Thursday's simulated game, worked out and played catch Saturday and Sunday at the Stadium. He is to do the same Monday, when he will be evaluated by team physician Christopher Ahmad.

New York Sports