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Lowrie expected to be back Thursday vs. Twins

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OAKLAND -- The A's concluded their three-game set against the Rays on Wednesday without Jed Lowrie, but they're expected to have their infielder back in the lineup on Thursday.

Lowrie was prepped for a lengthy run of starts with backup Nick Punto (right hamstring strain) resigned to the disabled list, but instead was forced to miss two consecutive games because of a bruised right index finger.

Manager Bob Melvin said Lowrie was "better" Wednesday morning.

"He felt much better swinging the bat today," said Melvin. "He still felt it a little throwing, but he'll be in here early tomorrow and we'll get a read on that. Much better chance than we had today."

Eric Sogard has been manning shortstop in place of Lowrie, who is batting .337 with 10 multi-hit games over his last 24 contests

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.

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