Lowell sits finale with sore right thumb

Lowell sits finale with sore right thumb

BOSTON -- The original lineup that Red Sox manager Terry Francona had for Sunday's regular-season finale is likely the one he will send out for Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Angels.

But there was a change later on, as the club decided to have third baseman Mike Lowell rest his sore right thumb for one more day. However, it was not a serious injury by anyone's estimation and Lowell will be more than fine to play Game 1, which will likely be on Thursday.

"I said [to Lowell], 'I think we have more to lose than gain today.' I think I kind of talked him out of playing," Francona said. "We're going to have optional hitting tomorrow. We haven't been on the field much. I think we can do things that way and control the situation. I would hate for him to take a swing and feel like he did something that didn't help him. That's why we're there. I think he feels real good about himself. I think in a couple of days, he'll feel better."

While Lowell stayed out for a second consecutive day, right fielder J.D. Drew returned after a four-day absence. Drew had a cortisone shot for the AC joint of his left shoulder earlier in the week.

"I've had that left AC joint that's bothered me all year," said Drew. "I took another cortisone shot in it. Just give it a couple of days to catch up so everything feels good. I told Tito when we talked about it that I'd be ready to play this weekend, so yeah, definitely, I'll get some at-bats, get running around a little bit and be able to go for [Game 1]."

Drew has been a vital part of Boston's postseason success the past two years, so the left-handed hitter is looking forward to another October run.

"Good, everything feels great," said Drew. "You never know what's going to happen in the postseason. That's what's always cool about it. There's a lot of adrenaline and a lot of postseason jitters to kind of get over. Once that starts rolling and things start happening, it's a lot of fun."

Aside from Lowell, all the regulars were in the lineup. Casey Kotchman started at first base, with Kevin Youkilis moving across the diamond to third.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.