7/10/2014 2:10 A.M. ET
Lowrie's luck turning around at the plate
By Aaron Leibowitz / MLB.com
SAN FRANCISCO -- The hits are finally starting to fall for Jed Lowrie. After a remarkable run of tough luck, the switch-hitting A's shortstop has multiple hits in a career-high five consecutive games.
Lowrie, a career .259 hitter who had a .290 average last season, was stuck at .217 on July 4. More advanced metrics suggest he deserves better: Lowrie's 23.7 percent line-drive rate is his best since his rookie year.
"Literally everything is exactly the same, except the hits weren't falling," Lowrie said before Wednesday's game, in which he went 2-for-4 with an RBI. "It still is a head-scratcher."
In 2013, Lowrie finished with 15 home runs and 75 RBIs while regularly occupying the Nos. 2 and 3 spots in the A's lineup. Lately, though, he has dropped down to sixth and seventh.
While the lack of results has been maddening at times, Lowrie has taken solace in sabermetrics.
"I'm looking at my average, and I'm looking at all the indicators," Lowrie said. "My line-drive rate was better than it was last year, my well-hit percentage is 19th in the league. It is nice to have that, but at the same time, because you're getting judged on average, you still want those balls to fall."
"We've talked about him being the guy that's hit into some tough luck, and I think some of the more sabermetric numbers would suggest that," said manager Bob Melvin on Tuesday. "Hopefully this is a sign of some better things to come for him."
Lowrie said he feels no better or worse now than he has all season, despite raising his average 17 points to .234 over a span of five games. While some players like to think the baseball gods eventually show their mercy, Lowrie knows it doesn't always work that way.
"I think that's just what players have always told themselves," he said. "Maybe they do work out over a career, but I think I have a few more coming if they're going to even out this year."
• Catcher Derek Norris got the start behind the plate Wednesday night against Giants right-hander Matt Cain. Melvin plans to give lefty hitter John Jaso the start vs. Tim Hudson on Thursday afternoon.
• First baseman Kyle Blanks (left calf strain) is able to hit and throw, but running remains an issue for him. "He still hasn't gotten over that hurdle yet," said Melvin, "where it's pretty sore to jog, let alone run."
Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.