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Biography

Derek Christopher Lowe (born June 1, 1973 in Dearborn, Michigan) is a Major League Baseball pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He throws and bats right-handed.

He spent the next several years working his way through several minor league teams: 1992- Bellingham ("A" level = 7-3, 2.42 - 13 starts), 1993 - Riverside ("A+" level, 12-9, 5.26, 26 starts), 1994- Jacksonville ("AA" level, 7-10, 4.94, 26 starts), 1995- Port City ("AA" level, 1-6, 6.08, 10 starts), 1996- Tacoma ("AAA" level, 6-9, 4.54, 16 starts).

Seattle, however, was desperate for immediate bullpen help and packaged Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek into a deal with the Boston Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb. The Mariners' willingness to trade Lowe may have stemmed from his involvement in an incident earlier that year in Federal Way, Washington. Lowe was charged with fourth-degree domestic violence by King County police after his girlfriend claimed that he struck her. Lowe was released on $1,000 bond the next day, and he allegedly violated a no-contact order by returning to her home shortly after his release.

Lowe compiled a 5-15 record over his first two seasons, during which he split time starting and relieving, but came into his own in 1999 after being transferred into the closer's role, finishing the season with 15 saves and a 2.63 ERA.

Lowe had his best season as a closer in 2000 when he led the American League with 42 saves. He was regarded as an unconventional closer, however, as he didn't overwhelm hitters. As a result, despite 24 saves early in the 2001 season, Lowe lost the closer's job at the trading deadline, July 31, when Boston acquired star closer Ugueth Urbina from the Montreal Expos. Lowe was left in limbo, forced to take various setup jobs in the bullpen.

In 2002, Lowe moved back into the starting rotation, a move which paid off immediately. He posted a 21-8 record, a 2.58 ERA, and finished 3rd in Cy Young Award voting behind Barry Zito and teammate Pedro Martinez. Lowe also no-hit the Tampa Bay Devil Rays at Fenway Park on April 27 that year, the first no-hitter pitched in that stadium since Dave Morehead's gem in 1965.

Lowe struggled through much of the 2003 season but, boosted by the strength of Boston's thunderous offense, posted a 17-7 record despite a 4.47 ERA. In 2004 he finished 14-12 with a 5.42 ERA in 33 starts, spending part of the season demoted to the Red Sox bullpen. During the postseason he rebounded with a 3-0 record and 1.86 ERA in four games, three of them starts. He was the winner in the final game of all three postseason series — American League Division Series against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, American League Championship Series against the New York Yankees and World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals — as the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. Lowe is the only pitcher in baseball history to accomplish this.

On January 11, 2005, he finalized a $36 million, four-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Controversially, Lowe wore a Boston Red Sox uniform, with his career-long number of 32, during the Red Sox World Series ring ceremony on April 11, 2005, after already pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

On August 31, 2005, Lowe nearly pitched the second no-hitter of his career. After giving up a leadoff single to the Cubs' Jerry Hairston, Jr., Lowe did not allow another Chicago hit, picking up a one-hit, two-walk, 7-0 complete game victory while facing only 29 batters.



 


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