Clay Buchholz’s return to the mound was expected last night. It was the guy playing behind him that came seemingly from nowhere.

 

Of all the injured Red Sox, Jed Lowrie had fallen furthest off the radar. Once a promising prospect, Lowrie’s career has been derailed by a balky wrist, and for the first half of 2010, a brutal case of mononucleosis.

 

But there was Lowrie in the lineup for the first time this season, playing shortstop yesterday against the Athletics. And despite having not played since Oct. 4, 2009, Lowrie made an immediate impact, driving in a run and scoring another in his first three plate appearances.

 

During a 10-game minor league rehab assignment, Lowrie hit .367 (11 for 30) with a home run and four doubles.

 

“It shows that they have a need for me,” Lowrie said before the game. “They’ve had a lot of injuries and guys have played a lot of games. I’m here to help out however I can.”


Lowrie can be of use bringing versatility to the infield. After watching Kevin Youkilis fall to the ground with an ankle cramp before the All-Star break, Terry Francona will use Lowrie at first, making him a fill-in at every infield position except catcher.