Lowrie's fortunes turning at the plate

Lowrie's fortunes turning at the plate
July 10, 2014, 1:00 pm
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Jed Lowrie enters Thursday's series finale on a 10-for-20 streak over the last five games with five runs and two doubles. (USATSI)

SAN FRANCISCO -- The numbers haven’t been pretty for Jed Lowrie this season, but things are finally starting to take a turn for the better for the A’s shortstop.

Lowrie has five consecutive multi-hit games coming into Thursday’s series finale against the Giants, the first time in his career he’s achieved that. He doesn’t offer any obvious explanation of what is different. In fact, Lowrie said very little has changed with him at the plate going back to last season, when he hit .290 with 15 homers, 75 RBI and 45 doubles.

“I still feel like every ball I hit hard is an out, and every (blooper) is falling,” Lowrie said with a touch of humor.

He enters Thursday in a 10-for-20 streak over the last five games with five runs and two doubles. Lowrie is on the money when he says some of his bloopers and grounders are finding holes, but he’s also had his share of hard-hit balls.

That means good news for the A’s. Lowrie has dropped in the batting order over the past several weeks, as his batting average fell as low as .215. Lately, he’s hit anywhere between fifth and eight. Should he keep hitting at his current pace, he could find himself back up near the top of the lineup, where he spent last season. Or, he could remain where he’s at and provide the bottom half of the order with some beefed-up production.

Lowrie, who entered Thursday hitting .234, said his overall season has been trying.

“How could that not be frustrating?” he said. “If you look at all the indicators, I was doing the exact same thing I was doing last year, and really nothing was falling.”

Notes: Center fielder Coco Crisp is out of Thursday’s lineup. Manager Bob Melvin said Crisp twisted his ankle a bit while attempting a diving catch in the third inning of Wednesday night’s game. Crisp stayed in for the rest of Wednesday’s game. It’s tough to read into Crisp’s absence, and what it might say about the severity of the injury, simply because Melvin has often been giving the veteran days off on afternoon games following night games. … Melvin reiterated that outfielder Josh Reddick (strained right knee) is nearing a rehab assignment, likely to take place during the All-Star break. Melvin said he might have more word on when left-hander Drew Pomeranz (fractured right hand) would begin a rehab assignment after Thursday’s game.