Big League Stew - MLB

Gather 'round, because it's time to recap the most recent diamond doings. Roll Call starts at Fenway Park, where Mike Lowell(notes) showed to Red Sox Nation he still has value.

Game of the Day: Red Sox 3, Indians 1

Lowell ... and behold! It was starting to look like a forgettable season for the old ballplayer, but all of that changed on Tuesday night. Red Sox fans showed their appreciation for Lowell — the 2007 World Series MVP — by giving him a long ovation before he even made his return to the batter's box in the first inning. He had been on the DL since late June because of a strained right hip.

[Survey: Red Sox fans are America's best]

Lowell responded by swinging at the first pitch he saw, sending it over the Green Monster for a two-run homer and a dream highlight in a season that had been mostly full of nightmares. Yep, just when you think Lowell has done all he can for Red Sox lore, he writes a new chapter.

Watch the ball go

"It was definitely more than I expected," Lowell said of the Fenway Park crowd's response. "I don't remember too many ovations like that. I was glad I could come through as quickly as I did."

Out to pasture: Oh, so you need ol' Mike Lowell now, do ya'? The Red Sox apparently tried to trade Lowell for months. Nobody wanted him. Then he got hurt. Then he came back and there was nowhere for him to play. The Red Sox probably wanted him to retire. And then Kevin Youkilis(notes) injured his thumb and it was revealed on Tuesday that he could be done for the season. Oh, hey, Mike, we might have a spot open!

Lowell, who even made a keen play on defense, is now a crucial part of any run that the Red Sox make for the playoffs. How about that?

Testosterone levels... check: Despite the Indians' lowly standing in the AL Central standings, the whole game oozed with something like playoff intensity, thanks to hit batters and retaliation for hit batters and other things that stirred the blood of men.

In the eighth, Indians reliever Jensen Lewis(notes) threw behind Adrian Beltre(notes), prompting a benches-clearing discussion during which Lewis, Indians third-base coach Steve Smith and Josh Beckett(notes) were ejected. Like most baseball incidents, the argument featured no punches, some screaming and a couple of aggressors — notably Beckett (pictured above) — having to be restrained.

Watch the boys argue

Tit for tat: Earlier in the game, two Indians — slugger Shin-Soo Choo(notes) and Shelley Chris Duncan — were hit by Beckett pitches. Beltre (right) might have been part of the retaliation for it. Look at all of these angry faces. C'mon, boys, it's just a game. Let's have a beer.

Beckett threw well before going, though manager Terry Francona said he was not to pitch the ninth anyway. So take that, umps!

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They Also Played...

Pirates 7, Reds 6: Andrew McCutchen(notes) stuck his neck out, Mike Leake(notes) hit it, and the Bucs offense woke up. Just how you draw it up.

White Sox 12, Tigers 2 (Game 1): This is why Juan Pierre(notes) would make a great DH for your team.

Tigers 7, White Sox 1 (Game 2): "When you get your butts kicked in, nobody wants to let it happen again," Brennan Boesch(notes) said. Kicked in? Ow.

Phillies 6, Marlins 1: Roy Halladay(notes) pitched, so the Marlins probably will sell you a ticket to this game just so you can say you were there. For an extra $25, they'll write a note to your boss saying you caught a cold and had to miss work.

Mets 3, Braves 2: Jeff Francoeur(notes) comes home to Atlanta and wrecks everything with a ninth-inning home run off Billy Wagner(notes). What an ingrate.

Jays 8, Yankees 2: Left-hander R.R. Cool Jay (some call him Ricky Romero(notes)) rocked the Yankees Universe all of the way into second place. And, no, A-Rod did not hit No. 600. Will ya' stop askin'? We'll let ya' know.

Brewers 4, Cubs 3: Not even the 10-strikeout debut of Thomas Diamond(notes), private eye, could keep the Cubs from losing their seventh straight.

Orioles 6, Angels 3: Showalter's in the dugout. All the O's need now is George Costanza in the front office and they're on their way back.

Astros 18, Cardinals 4: Hey, is that Aaron Miles(notes) pitching? Egads, the 'Stros have outscored the Fredbirds 27-8 in the series so far and are unbeaten since unloading Lance Berkman(notes) and Roy Oswalt(notes). ... Bud Norris(notes) Fact: He's got three victories against St. Louis this season.

Rays 6, Twins 4: Earl Weaver probably is turning over in his ... bed ... after the Rays rocked a pair of three-run homers. B.J. Upton(notes) just killed his. First-place Rays, all by their lonesome.

Giants 10, Rockies 0: Just spitballing: Fire Jim Tracy and bring back Clint Hurdle? Just for a couple of weeks, to get them going.

D-backs 6, Nationals 1: As predicted, Joe Saunders(notes) in the NL is better than Joe Saunders in the AL. ... Mark Reynolds(notes) homered, then became the 6,495th player in the past month (seemingly) to get beaned. He's OK. ... Stephen Strasburg(notes) is scheduled to throw a simulated game Thursday. Not sure if MLB Network will broadcast it, but word is the Marlins will try to sell unused tickets from the event.

Royals 3, Athletics 2: Is Alex Gordon(notes) awakening? He's got three homers in his past five games.

Dodgers 2, Padres 1: Ted Lilly(notes) retired the final 20 batters he faced. He would have made a nice pickup for a team in the pennant race, you know?

Mariners 3, Rangers 2: Is 23 scoreless innings really that many for the Mariners? Anyway, they scored, thanks to Franklin Gutierrez(notes) slugging a home run, placing a squeeze bunt and Jack Wilson(notes) coming home on a wild pitch.

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Follow Dave on Twitter — @AnswerDave

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