ANAHEIM, Calif.--Jed Lowrie was not in the Red Sox starting lineup Sunday afternoon, despite a .431 batting average and hits in 11 of his last 12 games, including a double and single in Saturday night's 5-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Marco Scutaro, who went 0-for-3 in Friday night's 4-3 win over the Angels, was back at shortstop Sunday, batting ninth.
Manager Terry Francona said one reason for the change was he preferred Scutaro matching up against Angels starter Matt Palmer.
"This guy is a little tougher against lefties than righties,'' Francona said, alluding to Palmer's off-speed stuff. "I want to give Scutaro a game today. I think it's important. Jed's played a bunch in a row. Same thing with J.D. [Drew]. After the quick turnaround, give Cam [Mike Cameron] a game. I think it kind of balances us out a little bit.
"Try to do it on days where it makes sense. That's kind of what we're thinking.''
Statistically, left-handed batters have hit Palmer better, posting a .279/.391/.397 line against .242/.316/.385 against right-handed hitters. This season, lefties have only had nine at-bats against him, with two hits, while right-handed hitters are batting .324 over 34 at-bats.
Francona was asked if it was difficult to sit someone hitting as well as Lowrie has been.
"I think it makes sense,'' he said. "I think he's swinging the bat really well. I think sometimes you reach too far with guys though. You set them back. All of a sudden he's been playing a lot. I think you can help him out by [sitting him]. We love the way he's swinging the bat.''