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Rays’ Brandon Lowe placed on injured list with back issue

Notes | The second baseman visits the team’s back specialist. Isaac Paredes is called up to replace him.
Brandon Lowe hits an RBI triple during a game against the Blue Jays Friday at Tropicana Field.
Brandon Lowe hits an RBI triple during a game against the Blue Jays Friday at Tropicana Field. [ SCOTT AUDETTE | AP ]
Published May 16|Updated May 17

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays lost another key member of their lineup to injury, with second baseman Brandon Lowe placed on the 10-day injured list due to what the team is calling low back discomfort.

Isaac Paredes was called up from Triple-A Durham to take Lowe’s spot.

Manager Kevin Cash said Lowe was being seen by team back specialist Dr. Tom Tolli on Monday. Evaluation and imaging results will determine the exact nature and severity of the injury, as well as the expected length of Lowe’s absence.

“Don’t know yet,” Cash said before Monday’s game. “It’s (10) days, I know that.” He had no update afterward.

Cash said Lowe had been managing the issue since last week, at the end of the 10-day West Coast trip.

Though Lowe is off to a slow start, hitting .212 with five home runs, 12 RBIs and a .708 OPS, he for several years has been one of the Rays’ top offensive performers, hitting 39 homers last year.

The Rays already are without outfielder Manuel Margot, who was placed on the injured list Sunday due to a right hamstring strain.

Paredes, who hit. 263 during an earlier six-game stint with the Rays, was acquired from the Tigers in the late-spring trade for Austin Meadows, now on Detroit’s injured list due to vertigo.

Missing Meadows

Rays players had hoped for a reunion with Meadows, but Tigers manager A.J. Hinch said the outfielder was staying at his Ruskin home and won’t be at Tropicana Field during the series as he deals with his medical issues.

“Everybody in this clubhouse loves Austin, and there’s nothing but respect for him in the way he plays the game,” said Rays pitcher Shane McClanahan. “Ultimately, whatever he’s dealing with, he’ll be OK and come back stronger. But we were all looking forward to seeing him more than anything.”

Hinch said that Meadows had a big impact after getting over the shock of the trade. He is hitting .267 with no homers, 11 RBIs and a .709 OPS.

“He adapted well into our culture and what we’re trying to do, and then he really performed,” Hinch said. “From a guy who shows up to the ballpark ready to play, the spirit, the vibe, he carries himself just like he carries his at-bats, just an ultimate pro. It hurts that he’s out of the lineup for us because of the presence that he brings, but he’s going to be good for us.”

Ball game

McClanahan starts Tuesday coming off a dominant outing against the Angels, striking out 11 over seven shutout innings. He is excited to face likely Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera, who he struck out and got to fly out last year. “He’s a very, very special player. ... He’s a legend,” McClanahan said. “Last year, the second I got out of the game against them, I sent a ball over and within a half inning it was in my locker signed by him. So it was pretty cool. It’s always fun to go against the guy like that.”

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Cash said the Rays are hopeful Margot will miss the minimum amount of time and return on or around May 25. ... Wander Franco was the DH, part of the Rays’ plan to limit his time on his feet as he moves past leg issues. He was 0-for-3 (with an RBI sacrifice fly) and is now 1-for-17 in four games at DH. ... The Tigers won their season-high fourth straight.

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