Red Sox ownership gives Lowe replacement ring

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Red Sox ownership gives Lowe replacement ring

BOSTON Derek Lowe was one of the heroes of the Red Sox 2004 World Series season. He went 3-0 with wins in each of the three clinching games of that postseason, helping the Red Sox to their first World Series title in 86 years.

But his commemorative ring from that historic season was stolen during a break-in at his Fort Myers, Fla., home last week.

Red Sox owner John Henry, chairman Tom Werner, and president Larry Lucchino rectified that this weekend. They presented Lowe with a replacement ring before Saturdays game.

"You know me, I can talk," Lowe told the Cleveland Plain Dealer. "But it was one of those moments where I didn't even know what to say. It wasn't like they just sent over a bat boy or sent it over. All three of them came over to give it to me. They said some really nice things.

"I just thought it was one of the classiest things I've seen. The Sox traveling secretary Jack McCormick called over to our clubhouse and said, "Hey, someone is going to stop by and wants to give you something.'

They didn't have to do that at all. I just don't want it to go unnoticed. I knew there was an opportunity for me to buy another one, but to have all three of them there when they gave it to me really meant a lot.

"It's something I'll never forget. It almost means more this time because it was a selfless act on their part. I just want people to know they did this."

Lowe left the Sox after that season and is in his first season with the Cleveland, where he is 5-1 with a 2.47 ERA after beating the Sox in the first game of this four-game series.

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

Red Sox celebration quickly washes away walk-off loss

NEW YORK -- It had the potential to be the most awkward celebration ever.

In the top of the ninth inning at Yankee Stadium, before their game was complete, the Red Sox became American League East champions, by virtue of one other division rival -- Baltimore -- coming back to beat another -- Toronto -- in the ninth inning.

That eliminated the Blue Jays from the division race, and made the Sox division champs.

But that ninth inning reversal of fortune was about to visit the Red Sox, too.

Craig Kimbrel faced four hitters and allowed a single and three straight walks, leading to a run. When, after 28 pitches, he couldn't get an out, he was lifted for Joe Kelly, who recorded one out, then yielded a walk-off grand slam to Mark Teixeira.

The Yankees celebrated wildly on the field, while the Red Sox trudged into the dugout, beset with mixed emotions.

Yes, they had just lost a game that seemed theirs. But they also had accomplished something that had taken 158 games.

What to do?

The Sox decided to drown their temporary sorrows in champagne.

"As soon as we got in here,'' said Jackie Bradley Jr., "we quickly got over it.''

From the top of the eighth until the start of the bottom of the ninth, the Red Sox seemed headed in a conventional celebration.

A two-run, bases-loaded double by Mookie Betts and a wild pitch -- the latter enabling David Ortiz to slide into home and dislodge the ball from former teammate Tommy Layne's glove --- had given the Sox a 3-0 lead.

Koji Uehara worked around a walk to post a scoreless walk and after the top of the ninth, the Sox called on Craig Kimbrel, who had successfully closed out all but two save opportunities all season.

But Kimbrel quickly allowed a leadoff single to Brett Gardner and then began pitching as though he forgot how to throw strikes. Three straight walks resulted in a run in and the bases loaded.

Joe Kelly got an out, but then Teixeira, for the second time this week, produced a game-winning homer in the ninth. On Monday, he had homered in Toronto to turn a Blue Jays win into a loss, and now, here he was again.

It may have been a rather meaningless victory for the Yankees -- who remain barely alive for the wild card -- but it did prevent them the indignity of watching the Red Sox celebrate on their lawn.

Instead, the Sox wore the shame of the walk-off -- at least until they reached their clubhouse, where the partying began in earnest.

It had taken clubhouse attendants less than five minutes to cover the floor and lockers with plastic protective sheets. In a matter of a few more minutes, the air was filled with a mix of beer and bubbly.

President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski wore a goggles and only socks on his feet.

As the spray reached every inch of the clubhouse, David Ortiz exclaimed: "I'm going to drown in this man.''

Defeat? What defeat?