Wed Aug 04 06:34am EDT
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.
"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.
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...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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