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8/9/2014 2:20 A.M. ET

Lowrie back in lineup with sore finger improved

OAKLAND -- Jed Lowrie was back in the A's lineup playing shortstop against the Twins on Friday, his first start since bruising his right index finger Monday.

Lowrie pinch-hit Thursday, but manager Bob Melvin wanted to wait another day before putting him in the field. Lowrie felt better than expected throwing Thursday.

"I probably could have played him yesterday," Melvin said Friday. "It was still a little bit uncomfortable on the throwing end. Whenever somebody tells you they feel pretty good to go, you want to give them an extra day, especially somebody as important to us as he is."

The switch-hitter planned to bat with his finger wrapped Friday and was considering keeping it wrapped in the field, as well.

"It's still there, but you're not waiting for it to get to 100 percent before you get back out there," Lowrie said. "You're looking for a window where you can compete and help the team win and let it get better with treatment."

Entering Friday, Lowrie was batting .333 with 10 extra-base hits over his last 25 games.

Gentry begins throwing, but can't swing bat yet

OAKLAND -- A's outfielder Craig Gentry, on the disabled list since July 28 with a broken right hand, threw Thursday and was scheduled to throw again Friday, but he is not yet able to swing a bat. Gentry said Friday that his hand is still pretty sore.

"I'm still waiting for the bone to heal, so I haven't really been doing too much," he said. "I'm kind of working on a little bit of grip strength right now and making sure my legs are strong."

Gentry was hit on the hand attempting a bunt in Houston on July 27. Initial X-rays showed no damage, but an MRI the next day revealed a non-displaced fracture.

He was batting .264 with 18 steals in 19 attempts when he went on the DL.

With Gentry down and Coco Crisp dealing with an ongoing neck issue, Sam Fuld has started seven of his first eight games for Oakland since being traded from the Twins. Fuld was in center field on Friday against his former team. with Crisp at DH.

Worth noting

Kyle Blanks (left calf strain) was traveling Friday and will begin a rehab assignment Saturday. Blanks will join Triple-A Sacramento.

Aaron Leibowitz is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.