Nate Lowe, Rangers try to take series against Blue Jays

MLB

Nate Lowe is providing a fast impact with his new team and has set a Texas Rangers’ record with 14 RBIs in the season’s first five games.

Lowe will attempt to add to his major league-leading RBI count on Wednesday when Texas strives for its second straight victory over the Toronto Blue Jays to conclude a three-game series at Arlington, Texas.

Lowe was acquired in December as part of a six-player deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. President of baseball operations Jon Daniels said at the time that the deal was made with the idea Lowe could turn into a team fixture.

The early signs are pointing in that direction after Lowe smacked a pair of two-run homers in the Rangers’ 7-4 triumph on Tuesday night. It marked the third multi-homer game of his career.

“It’s a process of being around great teammates, great coaches, great staff and guys who come to the yard and want to win,” Lowe said of his hot start.

Lowe, 25, entered the season with 11 homers and 30 RBIs in 219 at-bats in parts of two seasons with the Rays.

His strong start with the Rangers includes three homers and at least one hit and one RBI in all five games. Tuesday’s four-RBI outing was his second of the season.

Both of Lowe’s homers on Tuesday came off Blue Jays right-hander Tanner Roark.

The left-handed-hitting Lowe smacked a low liner that barely cleared the fence in left center for a two-run blast in the first inning. Two innings later, Lowe sent Roark’s offering over the fence in center for two more runs.

Lowe said he would rather help the Rangers win the series finale than gush over his personal exploits.

“The guys are excited. We’re starting to figure out we can play a little bit,” Lowe said. “We can definitely compete and win some games. We’ll get some confidence moving forward and hopefully win a series tomorrow.”

Blue Jays left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu has never faced Lowe but will be called on to cool him down in the finale.

Ryu pitched 5 1/3 innings in his first start of the season against the New York Yankees and allowed two runs and four hits. He struck out five and walked one.

Ryu, 34, wasn’t part of the decision in a contest Toronto won 3-2 in 10 innings.

This will be Ryu’s first career start against Texas.

Right-hander Kyle Gibson will make his second start of the season for the Rangers.

The 33-year-old took the mound with a 5-0 lead and immediately gave it all back up in his outing against the Kansas City Royals.

Gibson retired just one batter (via strikeout) while allowing five runs, four hits and three walks. The Royals went on to post a 14-10 victory.

Gibson is 4-1 with a 4.61 ERA in nine career starts against the Blue Jays. Marcus Semien is 5-for-18 with a homer and two doubles off Gibson.

Budding Blue Jays star Bo Bichette smacked two solo homers in Tuesday’s game. He has three multi-homer outings in 81 career games.

Toronto is hoping to see offseason free-agent signee George Springer (oblique) in the lineup on Thursday when it plays its home opener against the Los Angeles Angels in Dunedin, Fla. Springer faced live pitching before Tuesday’s game, and the Blue Jays said he took 17 swings in 14 plate appearances.

“It’s a big step for me both physically and in my own mind,” said Springer, who signed a six-year, $150 million deal after spending the previous seven seasons with the Houston Astros. “Obviously I have to see what happens, and see how my body responds.”

–Field Level Media

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