Rangers activate Lowe from DL; designate Gonzalez
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) Mark Lowe is back in the Texas Rangers bullpen, and the AL West leaders are keeping an extra reliever for now.
Lowe was activated from the 15-day disabled list Friday before opener of a three-game weekend series against Detroit. Instead of sending down another pitcher, the Rangers designated backup infielder Alberto Gonzalez for assignment.
``We're going through a stretch with the Tigers and the Yankees, really good hitting teams,'' manager Ron Washington said of having 13 pitchers with eight relievers. ``We've got make sure we've got enough pitching. There it is.''
Lowe had been out since June 26 because of a strained muscle in his right side. His last appearance was three scoreless innings in relief against the Tigers on June 25, the opener of the last series Detroit played in Texas.
The right-hander had a 2.30 ERA over 31 1-3 innings in 26 relief appearances before going on the 15-day DL. He has been feeling good in rehab, but the Rangers wanted to see how he did in back-to-back outings before activating him. He did that earlier this week, with four strikeouts over two innings those two nights.
``I've been anxious for a while,'' Lowe said. ``I did a little bit of everything. I was normal achy like always the first time going back to back. ... Yesterday felt great, today feel even better.''
After three games this weekend at home against the Tigers, who are second to the Rangers in the AL in hitting, Texas goes to New York for four games next week.
With 13 pitchers, that leaves Washington with only three bench players. For Friday night's game, with Michael Young as the designated hitter, the reserves were catcher Geovany Soto, rookie corner infielder Mike Olt and outfielder Craig Gentry. Young can play all four infield positions.
``It's not going to be a permanent situation,'' Washington said. ``I never liked going with just three bench players, but sometimes you've got to do what you've got to do and you move forward.''
Gonzalez had been with the Rangers the entire season. He hit .241 with four RBIs in 24 games.
Texas has 10 days to trade or release Gonzalez or send him outright to the minor leagues.