ANAHEIM -- Jed Lowrie got a break from his early season slump, with Red Sox manager Terry Francona inserting Nick Green as his shortstop for Sunday's series finale against the Angels.
After a torrid Spring Training (.343, three homers, 16 RBIs), Lowrie has come out of the gate 1-for-18 with eight strikeouts.
"I think it will be good for [Lowrie]," Francona said. "I think he's OK. He drove that ball into left field the other day pretty good. I just think sometimes a day off is good. Mental, physical, the whole thing -- let him step back."
As for Green -- who won the final spot on the bench when Julio Lugo had to undergo right knee surgery -- it was his first start in the Major Leagues since Sept. 26, 2007.
"It's always exciting when you see your name in the lineup," said Green. "I'm ready to get in there whenever they put me in, so I'm excited."
Green, 30, represents the classic case of a player who entered camp under the radar and won himself a job when the opportunity presented himself.
"He came in in great shape and the way he played created more playing time," Francona said. "That's what we tell guys the first day. We're not supposed to have six or seven openings. But if you show you can play and then there's a need, maybe it's Opening Day, maybe it's the middle of the season. The need was on Opening Day and he competed and won that job. He did a good job. He gives us some flexibility. A day like today, [we] can play him at short. You can put him in the outfield. That really helps the roster."
After settling into a nice groove during Spring Training, Green hopes to offset any rust that has built up over the first five games, during which he's been on the bench.
"It's not that easy," Green said. "Physically it's easy, but mentally it's not that easy. As a competitor, you want to play and then you try to figure out when that might be, so you can prepare yourself. If it doesn't happen, you get let down. So it's an up-and-down battle. But I think it's the best way to approach it -- prepare to play every game. It's easier to go down then up."
Green has 275 games of Major League experience, hitting .240 with 10 homers and 59 RBIs.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.