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Drew returns, will be eased back into play

BOSTON -- Stephen Drew reclaimed his spot as the Red Sox's starting shortstop Saturday, but the club isn't going to rush him into playing every day.

During a 5-2 loss to the Yankees, Drew went 0-for-2 with a walk and a strikeout and made four putouts in the field, as part of what he said was a successful return for him, physically.

"Overall I felt good," Drew said. "I wish I had some different outcomes, but I felt good at the plate and started to feel good in my last at-bat."

It was Drew's first game since tweaking his hamstring during a June 28 game against the Blue Jays and being placed on the 15-day disabled list.

The Red Sox plan to ease Drew back into the everyday flow, and with the club slated to face three left-handed starters over the next four games, manager John Farrell said he'll likely give Drew some rest. Entering Saturday, Drew was hitting .183 against left-handers, compared to a .255 clip against right-handers.

"Something we'll go day to day with," Farrell said. "I've had that conversation with Stephen. Over the next six games, we have three left-handed starters going against us, so there might be a time in there to get him off his feet before we get him back to everyday play."

Drew's return meant the Red Sox had to choose to keep either Brock Holt or Brandon Snyder on the Major League roster. Both infielders had been playing well, but Farrell said the decision to keep Snyder ultimately came down to having another right-handed bat off the bench.

"The fact is, with Stephen coming back to us, a left-handed hitter, the right-handed guy on the bench fits a little bit better," Farrell said. "And that was expressed and explained to Brock. But he gave us everything he could've hoped for in the time he was here. And probably solidifies further why he was so sought after in the [Joel Hanrahan trade with Pittsburgh] in the winter time. He's a valuable player as we go forward."

Jason Mastrodonato is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @jmastrodonato. Michael Periatt is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @Michael Periatt.
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