Francona trying to work Lowrie into lineup

Francona trying to work Lowrie into lineup

Francona trying to work Lowrie into lineup
BOSTON -- Jed Lowrie was again in the Red Sox's lineup on Wednesday, before the finale of a three-game set against the Rays was postponed. This time he was starting at shortstop, in Marco Scutaro's place.

When the Red Sox return to action Friday, there is no promise that Lowrie will be penciled in again. Manager Terry Francona said the decision to play Lowrie Wednesday was clear, but he did not address any future lineups.

"Jed's hitting about .480. We don't have a lot of guys hitting .480," Francona said. "He was playing today. We got a day off, he's not playing tomorrow. Again, I don't feel obligated to make my lineup out four days ahead of time. That doesn't make any sense."

Lowrie's average is .438, and he went 2-for-4 with a pair of doubles Tuesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Rays. Logically, it'd be hard for the Red Sox (2-9) not to play Lowrie while he's hot, but the utility infielder said that's not on his mind.

"You know what? I'm not focused on that," Lowrie said. "There's enough anxiety in this game -- especially in the role I'm in right now -- to worry about that. I'm just going to continue to do the work, continue to do what I need to do to prepare myself, no matter what they ask me to do. Of course, that's the idea -- go out and make the most of every opportunity you get."

Francona attributed Lowrie's fast start to a little more discipline at the plate after some aggressiveness in Spring Training.

"[He] swung at a lot more balls out of the zone than we've seen," Francona said. "Maybe some of that's just early Spring Training, but he's a good hitter, and again, we've said that we're trying to find ways to get him in the game."

Evan Drellich is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.