OAKLAND – Jed Lowrie attributes part of his early defensive struggles to an adjustment period getting re-acclimated to second base.
Lowrie entered Sunday’s game tied for the most errors in the majors with five, and he acknowledged there are some plays he probably should be making.
“There are some balls I still feel like I can work on and get better at,” he said.
But Lowrie also thinks he’ll improve simply with more time. Before this season, Lowrie hadn’t appeared at second base since the 2013 season, during his first stint with Oakland, and he hasn’t played the position regularly since his college days at Stanford.
Lowrie had an adventurous day in the field Saturday. He was charged with two errors, and though one was a tough scoring decision, there were a couple others scored as hits that seemed like makeable plays coming off the bat.
Lowrie pointed to his first error, on a ball hit by Mike Moustakas, as a play that he didn’t see much in the past couple years while playing shortstop or third. The ball took a big hop on him when it hit the lip of the outfield grass.
“Those are the type of plays you don’t have anywhere else but at second base,” he said. “Especially with all those shifts, you’re essentially playing in right field and have to deal with that lip. I’m still getting comfortable on a few of those plays. I’ll just continue to work and get my reps in.”
After starting 11 of the A’s first 12 games, Lowrie was out of the lineup Sunday with Chris Coghlan spelling him at second base.
On the lighter side, Sunday happened to be Lowrie’s 32nd birthday. His wife, Milessa, arranged for a cake to be sent to the clubhouse in the morning. It was designed in the shape of a wine bottle, and the label read in part, “Lowrie Vineyards, aged 32 years to perfection.”
Khris Davis, hitting just .162 with 15 strikeouts in 11 games, was on the bench Sunday as Coco Crisp started in left field. Manager Bob Melvin wanted to give Davis a chance to clear his head. Davis looked particularly frustrated after a first-inning strikeout Saturday when he chased a pitch for strike three.
“He’s pressing a little bit,” Melvin said. “I talked to him after yesterday’s game. I felt it would be good to give him today, and we have the off-day tomorrow. Then we’ll get out on the road and get him back in lineup on Tuesday.”