NEW YORK -- Red Sox right-fielder J.D. Drew has become almost a spectral presence around the Red Sox since going on the disabled list more than two months ago with an impingement in his left shoulder, then fracturing the middle finger on his right hand just when he was about to reactivated.
Third baseman Jed Lowrie, who has been dealing with nerve damage that has significantly weakened his left shoulder, had just eight plate appearances in the last two weeks, his playing time divvied up between Mike Aviles and Marco Scutaro.
But Sunday, Drew unexpectedly was activated and inserted into the starting lineup of Sunday’s second game, a day ahead of the schedule discussed by manager Terry Francona. And Lowrie also was back in the starting lineup at third base.
Both players made significant contributions to Sunday’s 7-4, 14-inning win. Lowrie tripled and doubled and scored two runs before being lifted for a pinch-runner in the seventh, while Drew singled home Lowrie with Boston’s first run en route to their comeback from a 3-0 deficit.
“We talked to [Drew] last night,’’ Francona said. “He came in today, I thought it was doubtful (Sunday). He kind of was planning on playing tomorrow. But he said, ‘I feel good enough.’ He had some numbers against (Ivan) Nova. He helped us.’’
Lowrie, meanwhile, had 15 extra-base hits in the season’s first two months, but the shoulder injury, sustained in a collision with left-fielder Carl Crawford in May in Detroit, has severely impacted his power. The extra-base hits gave him 8 in 140 at-bats since the end of May.