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

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.