BOSTON — Brandon Lowe’s frustration was obvious.
After missing much of last season due to a lower back injury, and being sidelined earlier this year for an issue in a different part of his back, he was scratched from Sunday’s lineup due to yet another back-related problem.
Lowe said he “felt something” while making a “graceful” slide into third in the fifth inning of Saturday’s first game against the Red Sox, and it became increasing sore through the second game of the doubleheader and on Sunday morning.
“I took some swings and tried to get it to loosen up, couldn’t really get it to loosen up,” he said. “The way that we’ve been kind of banged up, guys are battling through things, it didn’t make sense for me to try to go in and play hero and then tell them that I couldn’t play.
“So it’s frustrating because it’s another thing that has to do with the back, and to be frank, I’m tired of having to worry about it. But hopefully it’s just something that I got pissed off and I’m all better (Monday). It’s a little too early to say anything, honestly. So hopefully, a good night’s rest and everything’s perfect and just needed a day.”
Manager Kevin Cash said they also were in wait-and-see mode: “Not sure where that’ll go.”
The back injury is the latest frustration for the lefty-swinging second baseman, who has been struggling much of the season, hitting .199 with nine homers (but only two since April 28), 29 RBIs, 63 strikeouts (a 31.3% rate) and a .686 OPS. He also was involved in two misplays on pop flies on the road trip.
Lowe was one of several Rays out of action Sunday.
Shortstop Wander Franco missed a second straight game after feeling tightness in his left hamstring during Saturday’s opener, but said he is hopeful of playing Monday. Cash said they were “very encouraged” by his progress.
“I felt like it grabbed me a little bit,” Franco said, via team media relations coordinator Elvis Martinez, and noted the cold weather. “I’m just going to take it day by day and rest and see what happens.”
Centerfielder Jose Siri was also scratched from the lineup due to soreness in his right shoulder, a result of his game-ending diving catch in Saturday’s nightcap. “(He was) banged up a little bit more than we anticipated on the play. Expect for him to be fine,” Cash said.
Time for an ESPN documentary?
The Rays stretched their team-record streak of consecutive steals to 30-for-30 when Josh Lowe swiped second in the fifth inning. The Rays’ streak is the best in the majors since Cleveland swiped 36 straight in 2021. The longest streak since 1951, when caught stealing became a stat, is 39 by the 2013 Red Sox.
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Rainy days and Mondays
The Rays were supposed to have a rare off-day at home on Monday. But because Friday’s game was rained out, and the Red Sox, in consultation with Major League Baseball, decided to make it up now rather than when the Rays return in September, they will play at 4:05 p.m. Ace Shane McClanahan will pitch for the Rays, Brayan Bello for Boston.
The Rays won for the fifth time (and second straight) without hitting a homer; they have gone three games without for just the second time this season. … Rookie starter Taj Bradley allowed the leadoff man on in four of his five innings, but only two to score, and struck out six. “I was happy with how I got out of the innings,” he said. … Shawn Armstrong, activated Saturday after being sidelined since spring training with neck tightness, worked the final two innings, allowing just a walk. … Though the trip was extended, the 100-plus family members who accompanied the players and staff flew home on Sunday afternoon. … The Rays are 6-1 against Boston this season.
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