Lowe had a breakout year in 2002, going 21-8 with 127 strikeouts and a 2.58 ERA in 32 starts. However, the 29-year-old right-hander hasn’t had the same magic on the mound this year.
He enters Sunday’s game with a 3-2 record and, more alarmingly, a 5.75 ERA after seven starts. Last season, Lowe went 4-1 in April and upped his record to 8-2 by the end of May.
So far this season, Lowe has walked 19 in 36 innings and has yielded at least four earned runs in four of his seven starts.
Manny Ramirez had three hits and scored the go-ahead run in the eighth inning as Boston defeated Minnesota 6-5 on Saturday, ending the Twins’ five-game winning streak.
Tim Wakefield allowed seven hits and four runs over seven innings, while striking out six and walking two.
Brandon Lyon pitched the ninth for his fourth save in as many chances. Lyon has allowed only one run in his last six outings.
Kielty left Saturday’s game in the sixth inning with a right ribcage strain. He is listed as day-to-day.
“I felt something really grabbing and I tried to throw but couldn’t,” Kielty said. “I did some heavy lifting in the gym today, which usually doesn’t bother me, but today maybe it did.”
The Twins have scored at least five runs in six straight games.
STANDINGS: Red Sox - 2nd place, 3 GB, AL East. Twins - 2nd place, 2 1/2 GB, AL Central.
RED SOX PROBABLE STARTER: Lowe (3-2, 5.75 ERA). Lowe failed to earn a decision in his last outing, allowing five runs—four earned—over just 3 2-3 innings in the Red Sox’s 7-6 loss to Kansas City on Monday. Lowe issued three walks and served up two homers. Lowe is 1-0 with a 4.10 ERA and five saves in 15 career appearances against Minnesota.
TWINS PROBABLE STARTER: Brad Radke (3-3, 5.66 ERA). The veteran right-hander allowed seven hits and two runs over seven innings in Tuesday’s 7-3 win over Tampa Bay, his second straight victory overall. Radke is 7-6 with a 5.08 ERA in 17 career starts against Boston.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Red Sox - Ramirez, .333 avg.; Nomar Garciaparra, 6 HRs and 28 runs; Shea Hillenbrand, 27 RBIs; Damian Jackson and Johnny Damon, 8 SBs. Twins - Jacque Jones, .344 avg., 24 runs and 6 SBs.; LeCroy and Kielty, 5 HRs; Corey Koskie and Torii Hunter, 22 RBIs .
SEASON SERIES: Twins, 3-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Red Sox - SS Garciaparra is batting .400 (8-for-20) with three home runs and six RBIs in his career against RHP Radke. OF Ramirez has hit four homers and struck out 11 times in 32 career at bats against Radke. … OF Jackson has eight stolen bases despite only 20 at bats. Jackson has six hits and three walks, but has been used frequently as a pinch runner. … RHP Lowe has walked three in each of his last four starts. Twins - Minnesota has scored in the first inning in each of its last five games. … INF Denny Hocking is 3-for-4 in his career against RHP Lowe. … DH LeCroy has hit four of his five home runs against the Red Sox.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Red Sox - 12-9 on the road; Twins - 7-8 at home.
INJURIES: Red Sox - RHP Chad Fox (oblique), 15-day DL; RHP Robert Person (elbow), 15-day DL; LHP Matt White (oblique), 15-day DL. Twins - RHP Mike Fetters (hamstring), 15-day DL; LHP Eric Milton (knee), 60-day DL.