Lowell had fluid drained from his hip Monday in Boston and received an injection designed to alleviate inflammation in the surgically repaired joint. There was a chance Lowell could have returned to action later this week, but the Red Sox decided it was best to give him an extended rest.
"If he plays a couple days and is not feeling as good as he wants, then we've ruined a great opportunity to get him back after the All-Star break playing the majority of the time and feeling pretty good," manager Terry Francona said. "He buys into that thinking. I think it's the best thing for Mikey and the best thing for the team."
The move is retroactive to June 28. Lowell had played in only two of Boston's last nine games and returned to Boston following Sunday night's game in Atlanta.
"Mike really feels good. He wanted to play on Friday," Francona said. "We want him to be able to play the second half. There is nothing structurally that went wrong. He's just been beaten on a little bit."
The 35-year-old Lowell is batting .282 with 10 home runs and 41 RBIs.
"We need him to win," Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia said. "We especially need his presence."
The Red Sox filled the void by recalling first baseman/outfielder Jeff Bailey from Triple-A Pawtucket. Bailey played earlier this season with Boston, batting .188 with three homers and nine RBIs in 23 games before being optioned to Pawtucket on May 31.
A year ago, Bailey had three different stints with the Red Sox.
"I'm used to it. I know the drill," Bailey said, hours before Boston's game against the Baltimore Orioles. "I don't question it. I just do what I'm told."
The move did not come as a surprise.
"We all knew Mike was ailing a little bit. It was all over the papers," Bailey said. "I kind of had an idea this might be coming."
Pedroia said of Bailey: "He's a great guy to have up here. He always gives you a great at-bat and plays good defense. Plus, he fits in great in the clubhouse."
Bailey started against the Orioles, batting ninth and playing first base.
"I haven't played first base in three weeks," he said. "I figure, why not? I'll just go out there and see what happens."