Lowrie held out of lineup with neck strain

Lowrie held out of lineup with neck strain

ST. PETERSBURG -- Shortstop Jed Lowrie was held out of the A's lineup for Tuesday's three-game series opener against the Rays with a neck strain.

Nick Punto got the start at shortstop instead.

Lowrie was forced out of Sunday's game in Cleveland after just one inning because of the injury, and he said Tuesday afternoon, "It's still a little stiff, but better mobility."

The infielder's status remains day to day, but he didn't rule out being available off the bench Tuesday, noting, "I think it just depends on the situation."

Lowrie is more likely to be utilized off the bench as a left-handed hitter, if at all, since more discomfort ensues when he's batting from the right side.

He took part in pregame on-field activities "to tolerance," he said, and likened the injury to what he experienced in April last year, when he missed just one game after incurring a neck strain while sleeping.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.