Lowell leaves game against Tigers with sprained thumb

BOSTON -- Boston Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell left Wednesday night's game against the Detroit Tigers in the second inning with a sprained left thumb.

Last year's World Series MVP was injured on the first at-bat of the game when he fielded Ivan Rodriguez's grounder and threw him out.

"We put him in a splint, tried to calm [the injury] down" after he landed on it, manager Terry Francona said. "He's pretty tender. ... For him to come out of a game, you know it's hurting."

Sean Casey pinch hit for him in the second and stayed in the game at first base while Kevin Youkilis moved from first to third. Lowell was 6-for-30 with no homers or RBIs in Boston's first eight games.

Lowell also sprained his left thumb last June 1, when he landed awkwardly while trying to field a grounder by Josh Phelps of the New York Yankees. Lowell didn't miss any time because of that injury.