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Lowe doesn’t get ring, but stands out in season, series

Brandon Lowe and the Tampa Bay Rays did not get a World Series title, but his team-MVP season and the impact he had against the Los Angeles Dodgers was one not to forget.

Lowe and the Rays dropped a 3-1 decision to the Dodgers Oct. 27 in Game 6, giving the SoCal team the title, but the former Nansemond River High School star continued his rise into one of the elite players in Major League Baseball.

In just his second full season in the majors, Lowe was the Rays’ most valuable player, hitting .269 with 14 home runs and 37 runs-batted-in. He also hit a pair of home runs in Game 2 against the Dodgers to tie the series, and in Game 4, hit a three-run home run to help the Rays to tie the series again at 2-2. L.A. won the next two games to take the series.

In Game 6, Lowe had a walk and two strikeouts in going 0-for-3, finishing the World Series batting .125 for the postseason, but that doesn’t diminish what he and the Rays accomplished.

Lowe’s season helped lead the Rays to a 40-20 regular-season record in winning the American League East division by seven games.

In the postseason, Lowe got a pair of hits in a series win over Toronto, and after getting shut out in the hit column against the New York Yankees, he picked up a trio of hits in the seven-game series win against the Houston Astros to reach the World Series.

In a tweet, Lowe called the Game 4 comeback win by the Rays over the Dodgers the “best game I’ve been a part of.”

It was an unusual season with COVID-19 forcing the start of the season back to the end of July from its normal spring start, and then shortening the regular season to 60 games.

“It’s been an interesting season, let’s put it this way,” said his father and Nansemond River assistant baseball coach Tom Lowe. “On the road, you stay in the hotel room. It’s not like you’re going out and doing anything. When you’re home, you’re sitting at home and just waiting to go play, and during the pandemic, they had to stay in shape because they never knew when they were going to start.”

Before the series ended, Tom Lowe said his son and the rest of his Rays teammates would not be focused on saying they had already had a great season when there were still games to play.

“The takeaway is that it’s been a phenomenal year for everybody, for him and for his teammates,” Tom Lowe said last week before the series ended. “But their goal is to win the last game of the year.”

They didn’t win that last game, but Brandon Lowe likely won’t soon forget a most unique and special season. And there’s a message in how he has overcome adversity through injuries, slumps and now, the disappointment in getting within two games of a World Series title.

“You can never be satisfied with how good you are,” Tom Lowe said. “You know you always have to try to get better, because if you don’t, someone’s going to pass you. It’s a constant drive to get better.”