OAKLAND, Calif. -- For the fourth straight game, Jed Lowrie found himself in the starting lineup -- not surprising, perhaps, since the infielder carried a seven-game hitting streak and a .545 batting average into the opener of the team's nine-game road trip.
Terry Francona indicated that Marco Scutaro would still get some playing time at shortstop during the trip, with Lowrie perhaps fitting in at other positions.
One problem for Francona is, thanks to the composition of the Red Sox roster, he might have a tough time DHing Lowrie.
In some instances against a tough lefty, Francona might prefer to have Lowrie DH -- and bat righty -- but that leaves the Sox thin because they don't have another extra infielder.
If Lowrie were to DH and something happened to one of the other infielders, the Sox could move Lowrie into that infield spots but would lose the use of the DH for the night.
"That's why, I would imagine that on days that Jed plays another position (other than short),'' said Francona, "it would be a day game, like (Wednesday), where we could use it to our advantage.''
Though the Red Sox had won three in a row before Tuesday's game, they remained five games under .500 and the manager said the team would have to display some patience.
"I think we believe we're going to be good,'' said Francona. "But we had a horrendous first 10 days and it might take a while to dig out from it. That's the biggest thing we have to fight right now -- not continually looking (at the standings) because our record's not going to be what we want for a while.
"It's like a batting average and a guy hitting .150. You walk up to the plate and see that .150 and you kind of sag. We're going to have to fight that for a while. Sometimes, you lose six and win six. Sometimes you don't and you kind of have to chip away. We have to be willing to chip away and believe in what we're doing.''
Matt Albers (lat pull), who threw two innings of relief (one hit, one strikeout) for Pawtucket Tuesday night, will meet the Red Sox in Anaheim and presumably be activated for the start of the series Thursday.
It's likely that Alfredo Aceves will be returned to Pawtucket and placed in the Paw Sox starting rotation to get stretched out.