First baseman Nathaniel Lowe back with Rangers after missing first 20 games with oblique strain

ATLANTA (AP) — Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe was activated from the injured list on Saturday after missing the first 20 games of the season because of a right oblique strain.

Lowe started Saturday night's game against the Atlanta Braves and was hitting fifth.

“It'll be fun,” Lowe said before the game.

Lowe hit .262 with 17 homers and 82 RBIs last year and .302 with 27 homers and 76 RBIs in 2022. He said he didn't enjoy missing the first three weeks of the season.

“It was a learning experience trying to figure out how to contribute and still stay out of the way," Lowe said. “It was just kind of awkward being around and not being involved.”

Texas recalled catcher Sam Huff from Triple-A Round Rock. First baseman Jared Walsh was designated for assignment and catcher Jonah Heim was placed on the bereavement list. Walsh hit .226 with one homer in 17 games.

“We just didn't have room for two left-handed hitting first basemen,” manager Bruce Bochy said of the decision to designate Walsh for assignment.

Bochy said Lowe returns with no limitations. The plan is for Lowe to start the final two games of the weekend series in Atlanta before the team has a day off on Monday.

“He's ready to go,” Bochy said of Lowe. “We would not bring him up if he wasn't. ... We're not going to limit him.”

Added Bochy: “It's great to have him back. He's one of our guys. We've missed him. Just what he brings to the clubhouse.”