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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- After three days off, Jed Lowrie returned to the lineup Wednesay night, having gotten some rest for his left shoulder.
"It's not pain-free,'' said Lowrie of the shoulder, "but we're working on getting the strength back up and getting it feeling better, knowing that with the MRI results, it's just a matter of getting the strength and flexibility back.''
Lowrie was out of the lineup Sunday in Toronto, enjoyed the off-day in the schedule Monday and then was off again Tuesday. He's unsure how much rest he's going to need going forward.
"I think it's a day-by-day thing,'' he said. "If we continue to progress and know that as long as we stay on top of it, it will get better.''
Lowrie described the issue as "general tightness, weakness -- just what you'd expect after a collision.''
Lowrie collided with outfielder Mike Cameron 2 12 weeks ago in Detroit, the start of his problems.
"As far the symptoms, it is getting better,'' he said. "We're using every resource we have available to get it better.''
The Sox are still more than 10 days away from playing road interleague games, when they'll lose the use of the DH.
The schedule calls for the Sox to play nine straight in NL parks -- three in Pittsburgh, three in Philadelphia and three in Houston -- during which time they'll not have a spot for David Ortiz, who leads the team in, among other categories, homers and slugging percentage.
"This is hard...this is unfair,'' said Terry Francona. "We're going to go nine straight days (without use of Ortiz). In the past with Mikey Lowell, (Kevin Youkilis) and David, it was an obvious fix -- each guy played two (of every three games). Right now, it's not so obvious. It's going to be hard.''
Asked his thoughts on the proposed realignment plan which would eliminate divisions, award playoff spots to the top five teams in each league, shift an NL team to the AL and return to a balanced schedule, Francona said: "I love the idea of a balanced schedule. And the more teams they want to add to the playoffs, I'm all for.''