Rangers’ Lowe still hopeful of pitching playoffs

The availability of Rangers reliever Mark Lowe for the playoffs

is very much in doubt because of a partial tear in his left

hamstring.

Lowe said he is disappointed but not giving up on the idea of

pitching in the playoffs, especially if the AL West-leading Rangers

advance past the first round and into the American League

championship series or World Series.

”It’s awful timing,” Lowe said Friday. ”It’s why you play all

year to be able to pitch at the end of the season and the playoffs.

I can’t say I’ll be ready for the first round. I’m definitely going

to try. If I can’t I should be ready for the second round.”

Lowe had a 3.14 ERA over 49 games since being recalled from

Triple-A Round Rock on May 4. He had gone to the minors after

giving up four runs in 2 2-3 innings the first four games this

season.

After getting hurt running sprints during warmups before

Wednesday’s game in Oakland, Lowe returned to Texas early Thursday

ahead of the team to be examined. Team physician Dr. Keith Meister

determined that Lowe had a Grade 2 strain.

”He’s not day to day,” manager Ron Washington said before

Friday’s game against Seattle. ”He’s gone for a while. I don’t

know how long, but he’s out for a while.”

Right-hander Michael Gonzalez also returned to Texas early

because of illness, but Washington said the reliever was fine and

worked out Friday with the rest of the team.