Farrell wants Lawrie to ease his way back

Farrell wants Lawrie to ease his way back

BOSTON -- The Blue Jays don't want Brett Lawrie to try to make September count for August, too.

The third baseman was back atop the lineup on Friday night at Fenway Park, making his first appearance since Aug. 3. Out with a strained left oblique, Lawrie was activated after three rehab games, including a 3-for-4 performance with a triple in a Class A Midwest League playoff game with Lansing on Thursday.

Lawrie's always at his highest gear, but with the Blue Jays in last place and the lost time already in the past, he and manager John Farrell had a chat on Friday about picking the right spots to go all out.

"The basic theme of the conversation was, 'Don't think you have to make up for the previous month tonight,'" Farrell said. "He understands that. I'm not going to say you're going to see a different player out there -- we don't want to see a different player -- but I think he's understood [that with] the intensity that he plays with, there might be spots where he can let the game come to him a little bit more."

Lawrie's hitting .282 with nine home runs, 40 RBIs and 13 steals in 100 games, with a .326 on-base percentage and .416 slugging percentage. His return on Friday, accompanied by J.P. Arencibia's, made it "a good day" for Farrell.

"It's been a while," Farrell said. "It's just exciting to get guys that we've come accustomed to in our uniform back in our lineup tonight. So today's a good day."