Scutaro gets second straight day off

Scutaro gets second straight day off

Scutaro gets second straight day off
BOSTON -- Marco Scutaro got his second consecutive day of rest Saturday, despite the right-handed Colby Lewis taking the mound for the Rangers.

While Jed Lowrie has continued to pound left-handed pitching this season with a .347 average, he's struggled mightily against righties, hitting .216 over 171 at-bats. Scutaro has hit righties at a .273 clip, but manager Terry Francona thought the 35-year-old shortstop needed another day off.

"Two days will really be good for him," said Francona, who will give Scutaro the starting nod Sunday. "He's a little beat up. When you try to look at things in advance, when he does have a tough time with somebody, it's a good time to do it."

Scutaro is just 1-for-14 lifetime vs. Lewis.

Lowrie had been playing mostly third base over the past couple of weeks, taking the place of Kevin Youkilis, who was on the 15-day disabled list with an injured back. Lowrie returned to shortstop when Youkilis was activated Friday night and couldn't handle a fairly routine grounder early in the game, though he was not charged with an error.

Scutaro has hit .280 since the All-Star break, while Lowrie has hit .250, lowering his season average to .265. But Francona wants to be sure Scutaro remains healthy down the stretch.

"He always makes himself hold up," Francona said of Scutaro. "He'll play. I just think it's our responsibility, also, to try to pick and choose -- even when they may not want to hear it -- and keep our guys healthy so they can be more productive."

Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.