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Rays report: Josh Lowe called up, Luke Bard sent down

The outfielder who was demoted after a rough first month in the big leagues is back after a solid showing at Durham.
Josh Lowe rediscovered his swing at Triple-A Durham. His promotion will mean less playing time for the Rays’ other outfielders.
Josh Lowe rediscovered his swing at Triple-A Durham. His promotion will mean less playing time for the Rays’ other outfielders. [ IVY CEBALLO | Times ]
Published Jun. 20|Updated Jun. 20

ST. PETERSBURG — Josh Lowe is back for another shot in the big leagues.

The promising prospect made the Rays’ opening-day roster following the late spring trade of Austin Meadows but had a rough first month and was sent back to Triple-A on May 1. In 19 games, he hit .188 with one homer, six RBIs and a .601 OPS. He struck out 27 times in 71 plate appearances (38 percent).

Lowe rediscovered his swing at Durham, where he was team MVP last year, hitting .299 with six homers, 35 RBIs and a .922 OPS though still striking out a lot, 49 times in 157 plate appearances (31 percent).

He is in the lineup for tonight’s series opener against the Yankees, playing leftfield and hitting eighth.

His promotion will mean less playing time for the Rays’ other outfielders and may impact Brett Phillips, another lefty hitter, the most. Also, Randy Arozarena seems likely to get more time at designated hitter, having been the primary starter in leftfield.

The move was made as the Rays had to reduce their pitching staff to comply with a new Major League Baseball rule that went into effect at noon limiting teams to carrying 13 pitchers.

Reliever Luke Bard, who worked two innings Sunday, was sent down. He made four appearances after his early June promotion from Triple-A.

Also Monday, right-hander Chris Mazza was reinstated from 60-day IL (back spasms) and then designated him for assignment. His rehab assignment at Triple-A was up, Rays apparently felt they had better options on the 40-man roster.

Here is the Rays lineup:

And for the Yankees, with shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa out:

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