Hip strain forces Red Sox to replace Lowell on roster; Velazquez gets nod

BOSTON -- Third baseman Mike Lowell was removed from Boston's first-round postseason roster on Monday because of a right hip strain.

He is also ineligible to play in the AL Championship Series.

Last year's World Series MVP, who also has a torn labrum in his right hip, was replaced on the active roster by infielder Gil Velazquez, who made his major league debut on Sept. 25.

Lowell was 0-for-8 in two games during the series against the Angels.

"He's hurting today," Boston manager Terry Francona said before the roster move was announced. "When he finally did get on base, we ran for him just because if there was a grounder in the hole and he can't get to second, that puts him in an unfair position."

Kevin Youkilis moved from first base to Lowell's regular spot at third base and Mark Kotsay was down to play first on Monday night. J.D. Drew, who hit a go-ahead, two-run homer in Boston's 7-5 win in Game 2, returned in right field after not starting Sunday because of a bad back.

"Sometimes the best thing to do is try to be a little patient," Francona said before the decision was made to replace Lowell. "If you can afford the patience, maybe your patience is rewarded. Now, again, we need to listen to what the doctors have to say."

Lowell's hip injury limited him to one at-bat in Boston's last 11 regular-season games.

He went 0-for-4 as Boston won the opener 4-1, sat out the second game and went 0-for-4 in the third game.

"His ability to try to play through a bunch of pain is remarkable," Francona said, "but I think we all kind of saw it was difficult for him last night. "

Velazquez spent the past 10 seasons and most of this season in the minors before being called up from Triple-A Pawtucket. He was 1-for-8 in three games with Boston.