ARLINGTON -- When asked about Mark Lowe throwing a career-high three innings on Tuesday, Rangers manager Ron Washington raved about how much respect he earned in the clubhouse.
But the outing may have also been a reason Lowe was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Friday with a strained rib cage muscle.
"It's hard to say," Lowe said. "I could've thrown one inning and came back the next day and felt the same thing. But it did come after the three-inning stint. It was something that had been going on for a while, so it was just a matter of time."
Lowe said he began feeling discomfort in his side during the Rangers' series against the Angels, their first of the month. But he was able to pitch through the pain, holding hitters to a .158 average and posting a 1.64 ERA in eight June appearances, down from a 3.14 ERA in 13 May outings.
"I could get loose, and I didn't feel it playing catch or once I got warm," Lowe said. "That three-inning stint was the first time I couldn't get loose, and it stayed sore. ... Whenever I'm at a point where I'm playing catch and I'm thinking about how my body feels, I know it's time to take some time off. That's how I felt yesterday."
Lowe will be eligible to come off the DL on July 11, the day after the All-Star Game. If he is able return at that time, he will have missed nine games.
"It came at a good time where I have four extra days," Lowe said. "I don't think it's anything major to where I have to miss significant time."
Lowe became the sixth Rangers pitcher to be placed on the DL, joining Colby Lewis (forearm tightness), Neftali Feliz (elbow inflammation), Derek Holland (elbow fatigue), Alexi Ogando (strained groin) and Koji Uehara (strained lat).