BOSTON -- After receiving a cortisone shot in his left shoulder on Tuesday, Jed Lowrie was not in Thursday's starting lineup against the Rays for the second straight game, but he'll be available off the bench if manager Terry Francona needs him.
Lowrie hurt his shoulder in May after colliding with Carl Crawford and eventually missed 45 games with tightness and swelling. As first reported by the Boston Herald, the cortisone shot was the only other option for the Red Sox infielder if he wanted to continue to play this season.
As Boston fends off Tampa Bay for the American League Wild Card, the shot is supposed to reduce the swelling and save Lowrie's year from being over.
"I think it sounded like those were the two options, and I wanted to do whatever I could to be out there and to help the team and really just get the shoulder feeling better," he said Thursday. "And [team doctors] said it would do all that."
Lowrie is hitless in his last 16 at-bats, and after his torrid April (.368 average) in which he earned the starting job over Marco Scutaro, his season has yet to hit that same stride, with a .216 average over 222 at-bats since.
The 27-year-old said he doesn't like to make excuses, but his ailing shoulder has made it difficult to swing the bat consistently, and that fatigue has been the biggest issue.
"You play the hand that you're dealt, but I think the hand I've been dealt right now, it's tough to deal with," he said. "It's tough to hit when your shoulder's inflamed and all sorts of things are going on at once. I'm going to do whatever I can to make sure I can help this team win, however I can."
Jason Mastrodonato is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.