Box Score Bank: Lowe's first save

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Box Score Bank: Lowe's first save

I'll admit that it's a little weird seeing Derek Lowe pitch for the Yankees, but the vision of him in pinstripes doesn't stir up any special emotions.

Maybe that's because Lowe hasn't played in Boston since 2005. Or maybe it's that he played for three different teams in between the Sox and Yankees. Or maybe the SoxYankees divide just isn't quite as hostile as it was back in the days of Roger Clemens and Johnny Damon.

Either way, Lowe's a Yankee now, and last night he picked up a four-inning save in New York's 8-2 win. It was his first save in nearly 11 years, and comes more than 14 years after the first save of his career.

Sounds like a Box Score Bank to me.

So let's set our sights on . . . July 16, 1998

Deep Impact slightly edged Godzilla as the No. 1 movie in America (not to be outdone, Spice World ranked 23rd). "The Boy is Mine" by Monica and Brandy was in the midst of its 13-week run atop the Billboard charts. A week before, France beat Brazil in the World Cup Final; six weeks later, Stanford University PhD candidates Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded a company called Google, Inc.

And over at Fenway Park, 25-year-old Derek Lowe was picking up the first save of his Major League career.
Final Score: Red Sox 15, Indians 5
Funny how both Lowe's first and most recent save came in blowout wins, right?

No, not really. But here's how this first one went down.

Jimy Williams called for Lowe in the top of the eighth inning with the Sox up 8-5, and he promptly retired Manny Ramirez on a line drive to short. The next inning, the Sox offense promptly exploded, scoring seven runs on eight hits in the bottom of the eighth.

Lowe came back out for the ninth, gave up a single to Brian Giles but then induced three straight ground outs to pick up the first of now 86 career saves. And the rest is history.

Two years later, Lowe took over as Boston's closer and led the league with 42 saves.

Two years after that, he became a starter and finished second in the league with 21 wins.

Two years after that, he won all three deciding games as the Red Sox made their ridiculous run to the 2004 title.

And now he plays for the Yankees.

Oh well. It's definitely a little weird, but also impossible to get upset.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

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