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Lowrie still out of lineup, nursing swollen finger

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OAKLAND -- A's shortstop Jed Lowrie was held out of the starting lineup for a third consecutive game Thursday because of a bruised right index finger. He pinch-hit in the seventh inning and lined out to right field.

Lowrie can easily swing a bat, but he still feels discomfort when throwing, and manager Bob Melvin would rather not use him at designated hitter during a stretch where he only has two other middle infielders with Nick Punto on the disabled list.

"If I DH, it kind of ties his hands, so I want to be able to throw and throw confidently," said Lowrie. "It's pretty swollen, it's pretty bruised. The way it hit me, I'm lucky it wasn't broken. It's just a matter of getting that inflammation out of there.

"If it's any other finger, it's not an issue, but because that's the finger that leaves the ball last, it's hard to control the ball throwing when you don't have good feel for the finger."

Melvin said he is "almost certain [Lowrie] will start" Friday.

"I think he could've played today, but at shortstop, if you get any number of throws that you have to make off-balance, he's still feeling it a little bit," he said.

Eric Sogard, who snapped a 110-game homerless streak Wednesday, made yet another start at shortstop in Lowrie's place Thursday.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com.Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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