Lowell, Ellsbury take big steps

Lowell, Ellsbury take big steps

ANAHEIM -- The two position players on Minor League rehab assignments both made solid steps toward returning to the active roster. Corner infielder Mike Lowell belted three home runs for Triple-A Pawtucket, driving in five runs. The game was played at Toledo. It was Lowell's fourth start of the assignment, but first at third base.

The corner infielder should be ready to be activated by the weekend, though there's still a chance he will be dealt by Saturday's 4 p.m. ET Trade Deadline. Lowell has been out since June 23 with a right hip strain.

Jacoby Ellsbury, playing in his second Gulf Coast League game, went 1-for-2 with a walk and stole a base. He played five innings in center field.

Ellsbury will take a day off from game action on Wednesday and then play nine innings in the Gulf Coast on Thursday. If that goes well, he will be elevated to Pawtucket for the weekend.

The speedy leadoff man could be back with the Red Sox within a couple of weeks.