Boston (56-45) at Minnesota (57-45)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Minneapolis, MN
Temp: 80° F
  • Game info: 7:10 pm EDT Sat Jul 31, 2004
  • TV: NESN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Maybe Derek Lowe’s last four starts convinced the Boston Red Sox that they didn’t have to deal the right-hander prior to the trade deadline, or add another starter to their staff.

Lowe will shoot for his third straight win and fourth victory in five starts when the Red Sox resume a three-game series with the Minnesota Twins at the Metrodome.

Lowe, who won 37 games in his first two seasons as a starter for Boston after serving mainly as a reliever during the first six years of his career, has been inconsistent at best this year. He was 6-8 with a 6.02 ERA on July 4, but appears to have rediscovered the form that made him Boston’s No. 2 starter in each of the previous two years.

Lowe allowed two earned runs and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings Sunday night in the Red Sox’s 9-6 victory over the rival New York Yankees at Fenway Park. He struck out five and walked three, improving to 3-1 in his last four starts— Lowe’s best stretch since he opened the season by winning three of his first four decisions.

Despite his recent resurgence, Lowe has been the subject of trade rumors. With Curt Schilling and Pedro Martinez solidifying the front of their rotation, the Red Sox would like a reliable third starter as they prepare for the stretch run.

Lowe expects to fill the role.

“You’ve all got me traded so I was just trying to enjoy my last game as a Red Sox,” he said defiantly after Sunday’s win. “For some reason I’m the guy that everyone wants to trade. So I went into today’s game trying to enjoy the last Red Sox-Yankees game before I go elsewhere according to the media.”

The Red Sox took the series opener 8-2 behind the sharp pitching of Bronson Arroyo and three RBIs from Gabe Kapler. Boston has won four of its last five, but remains 7 1/2 games behind the first-place Yankees in the AL East.

The Twins had a four-game winning streak snapped, but maintained their four-game lead over the second-place Chicago White Sox in the AL Central.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Lowe Tex vs. B. Radke Min
14-12 Record 11-8
5.42 ERA 3.48
105 K 143
71 BB 26
1.61 WHIP 1.16