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Lowrie's dedication to defense paying dividends

NEW YORK -- Jed Lowrie's production at the plate has dipped in recent weeks, but his defense has been noticeably better.

The A's shortstop, typically regarded as a below-average defender with limited range, hasn't looked the part of late. He's committed just one error in his last 27 games, after making five in his first 24 contests.

Lowrie still ranks last among American League shortstops with a 3.31 range factor, but the A's have seen an improvement in this area. He averaged a 2.88 range factor in his previous seven seasons.

"I would say definitely an improvement," said manager Bob Melvin. "I would say, within the last three weeks or so, he's been the best that we've seen defensively.

"It seems like his range is better, he's certainly making some stronger throws from the hole at shortstop. It's a credit to him and his hard work, because he does take his defense very seriously, and he works at it every day. It's starting to pay dividends for him."

At the plate, Lowrie is just 7-for-37 over his last 12 games.

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.
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