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04/06/12 1:02 PM ET

Astros place Lowrie on DL; Bixler recalled

HOUSTON -- After days of holding out hope shortstop Jed Lowrie would be able to be in the lineup for Friday's Opening Night game, the Astros opted earlier in the day to put Lowrie on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 29 because of his sprained right thumb.

Lowrie, who will miss at least the first six games of the regular season, injured the thumb diving into second base during a March 28 Spring Training game. Lowrie had worked his way up to hitting off a tee, but wasn't quite ready to go.

The Astros purchased the contract of infielder/outfielder Brian Bixler, with rookie Marwin Gonzalez getting the start at shortstop. The announcement was made by general manager Jeff Luhnow.

"Jeff made the call this morning and told me they decided to put me on the DL and told me to get ready for the Miami series [April 13-15)," Lowrie said. "Some of the decisions are out of my control, but I'm not going to let it get me down because I've made such good progress. I already hit today and felt better again. The plan is to take batting practice [Saturday] and we'll go from there."

Lowrie has no doubts he'll be ready to go in a week.

"I want to get it feeling good as soon as possible," he said. "I want to feel better [Saturday], because that means I can go out and put in some good work however many days it is before I play. Unfortunately, I've been through this before and I know how to handle the situation."

This is the second consecutive season the Astros' presumptive Opening Day shortstop has started the season on the DL. Last year, Clint Barmes missed a few weeks after breaking his hand during Spring Training, paving the way for Angel Sanchez to start on Opening Day.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.