Jacoby Ellsbury's eighth game of the season took place in the Red Sox' 87th game last night.

Hey, better late than never.

"The doctors and myself, we're confident you can expect to see the normal me, going out there and playing hard," said Ellsbury before the Sox' 3-1 win against the Rays. "I'm just excited to be out here.''

Ellsbury went 1-for-5 and had basically an uneventful game, but he looked fine.

"Those were good at-bats by Jacoby tonight," said manager Bobby Valentine.

Ellsbury's return from a subluxed right shoulder that occurred on Friday the 13th of April came on another Friday the 13th — in the Red Sox' first game after the All-Star break. He has been rehabbing in the club's minor league system, hitting .185 over eight games. Before his injury he had hit .192 in his first seven games.

He said he felt his timing would be fine.

"I feel as good as you can coming into a ballgame, definitely very confident," he said. "Most importantly, just excited to be out there. We're all hoping for a great second half from the team."

Neither Ellsbury nor Valentine expressed a great deal of concern about Ellsbury re-injuring his shoulder.

"Just diving the first couple of times, getting used to it — diving back to first, diving when he's sliding, diving in the outfield, a headfirst dive would be a concern," said Valentine. "But that's not how he hurt it initially, so you've got to be concerned about somebody falling on him too. I guess."