Lowell returns to lineup, but leaves after one at-bat; future uncertain

Updated: September 27, 2008, 2:02 AM ET
Associated Press

BOSTON -- Red Sox third baseman Mike Lowell, the MVP of their 2007 World Series title, lasted just one at-bat before leaving Friday night's game against the Yankees with a recurrence of his back injury and might not be better in time for the playoffs.

"By no means do I think I'm owed a roster spot just because I've played here, if I'm not going to do anything that can help our team to win," he said. "I don't particularly want to try something that's going to be an utter failure."

Lowell made two trips to the disabled list this season and played just 112 games because of a sore hip. He was back in the lineup for the opener of the season-ending series against New York, but he aggravated the injury during his only at-bat, in the first inning, and left the game.

Manager Terry Francona said the plan was to use Lowell as the designated hitter on Friday and at third base on Sunday. "I don't think that's going to happen," Francona said.

"It was certainly discouraging," Francona said. "But because of how tough he is and what he means to us and him still wanting to play, we don't want to pull the plug, either."

Even if he doesn't get back into a game, Lowell said he could get ready during workouts on Monday and Tuesday. When he was with Florida in 2003, he played in just one game in September but came back for the playoffs and helped the Marlins win the World Series.

"I felt I did some good things in the postseason," he said. "That's not the ideal recipe."


Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press