For Rays’ Josh Lowe, this Mother’s Day is even more special

ST. PETERSBURG — Playing on Mother’s Day with his mom watching from the stands would be special anytime for Rays outfielder Josh Lowe.

But infinitely more so this year, as Wendy was diagnosed last summer with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer.

“Of course,” Josh said before Sunday’s 10-6 loss to the Yankees. “It gives me more of a reason why every single day, (Sunday) especially being Mother’s Day, being able to celebrate her and everything she’s going through, her fight right now. And she’s doing great.

“But, like I said, it gives me more of a reason why every single day to go out there and do what I do even harder.”

Wendy’s symptoms first became apparent in June while attending a series at Tropicana Field between the Rays and Rangers, for whom her oldest son, Nathaniel, plays.

She had surgery in August, then a series of chemotherapy, radiation and other forms of treatments to stabilize her condition and shrink the tumor.

As she continues her battle from their Orlando-area home, the family was able to get together during the Rangers’ visit in April, though both boys were on the injured list. Sunday was the first game this season Wendy saw Josh, who was activated on May 6, play. He wore specially designed cleats and used other pink gear in tribute as well.

“I’m extremely, extremely proud (of her),” Josh said. “She’s handled it every single day just about as well as anybody could handle it. Probably even better, with a smile on her face every single day.

“You’d never know she’s going through something if you saw her, ran into her in the street. So I’m so proud of her and her fight and how she’s doing, and how she’s going to continue going through all this.”

Medical matters: Pepiot, Poche, B. Lowe

• Starter Ryan Pepiot tested his bruised left leg in a 14-15-pitch mound session, saying “it felt pretty good” and “we’re getting there,” though manager Kevin Cash said Pepiot still had “some soreness.”

Pepiot, knocked out of the May 5 game when struck by a 107.5 mph line drive, accompanied the team to Boston with plans to keep testing the leg and throw in some kind of simulated game later this week.

Pending the soreness and how that goes, Cash said, “if he makes another jump, then we’re talking about inserting him back in the rotation right around his day (to be activated, May 21).”

• Lefty reliever Colin Poche needed a second cortisone-type shot, a more impactful kind for which he had to undergo anesthesia, to address his mid-back issues, with hopes he can start throwing again Wednesday. He has been out since late April and likely will require several weeks of buildup and a rehab assignment.

• Second baseman Brandon Lowe resumed his rehab assignment from a right oblique strain Sunday with Triple-A Durham and went 1-for-5 with a three-run homer. He left Friday’s game after one at-bat because, Cash said, “he didn’t feel confident to let his swing go.” He didn’t play on Saturday.

• Reliever Chris Devenski, out since late April with right knee tendinitis, has thrown two pain-free bullpen sessions, which Cash called “encouraging.”


Isaac Paredes was hit on the helmet by a Luke Weaver pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh inning but was checked and stayed in. “You’re worried for any guy,” Cash said. “Obviously, there’s no intent behind it (with) bases loaded. But getting hit in the head is scary. And I’m glad he’s OK.” … Starter Tyler Alexander became the second Ray to work seven innings this season, matching Zach Eflin (May 7). Alexander also matched his career high. … Paredes, who was 1-for-4, extended his on-base streak to 12 games and 22 home games. … The Rays hadn’t allowed five homers to the Yankees in a game at Tropicana Field in nine years, since May 11, 2015.

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