Lowrie moves to cleanup spot against lefty

Lowrie moves to cleanup spot against lefty

Lowrie moves to cleanup spot against lefty
BALTIMORE -- For a while, Jed Lowrie became a forgotten man as left shoulder woes kept him off the field a lot of the time and limited his productivity at the plate when he did play.

But since undergoing a cortisone shot and returning to the lineup on Sept. 19, Lowrie has belted the baseball, hitting .357 with two homers and five RBIs.

He has been such a threat that manager Terry Francona inserted him into the cleanup spot for Tuesday's game against left-hander Zach Britton.

"They've got a bundle of guys down in their bullpen -- we're certainly willing to match up," said Francona. "We're trying to use the strength of Jed swinging against a lefty and get him in between David [Ortiz] and [Adrian Gonzalez]."

It was Lowrie's first career start batting fourth. He has started at every other spot in the batting order except the three-hole.

Does Lowrie remember the last time he batted fourth?

Probably Minor Leagues or college," said Lowrie. "[I'm] not a prototypical four-hole hitter. Gotta do what you gotta do."

As far as the shoulder issue that has plagued him since late May, Lowrie is trying to keep it out of his mind and just do what he can to play.

"It's getting it ready and [giving it] whatever I got," Lowrie said. "I'm not going to analyze every little thing about it right now. It's good enough to go, so that's all that matters. I think I'd be wasting my time and everybody else's time if I'm worried about analyzing what percentage it's at."

With a righty pitching on Wednesday, David Ortiz is likely to move back to fourth.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.