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

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Chris Sale not concerned about which starter is Red Sox' ace

Trenni sits with Chris Sale and David Price during spring training in Fort Meyers.

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

Moreland not worried about filling Ortiz's shoes because 'there's no replacing him'

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Mitch Moreland knows he's likely the only new player in Boston's lineup since David Ortiz retired at the end of last season.

He's just not listening to those who say he needs to replace Big Papi's lofty production.

"I try not to hear it because there's no replacing that guy," said the 31-year-old first baseman, who signed a one-year, $5.5-million deal with the Red Sox during the offseason.

"I think it's going to be more of a team effort," he said. "Obviously we picked up two big arms as well, and it's a very balanced club."

After playing his first six-plus seasons in the majors with the Texas Rangers, Moreland is with a new organization for the first time in his career. So far, he said, the move has been smooth.

"They welcomed me from Day One," he said. "Handshakes and hugs right off the bat. It's going to be a lot of fun. You can see why they had so much success last year."

Coming off a subpar 2016 with a .233 batting average, 22 homers and 60 RBI, Moreland tested free agency. He wanted to go to a team that had a good chance at competing for a championship -- like he felt with the Rangers.

"Something that was at the top of my list as a player," he said. "If I was going to be on a team, I wanted a team that had a chance to win. It makes it that much more fun to come to the park every day when something's on the line and you're fighting for a chance to play in the playoffs, fighting to win the division and fighting to win a World Series."

A first-time Gold Glove winner last season, Moreland knows the defending A.L. East champion Red Sox wanted his defensive skills at first to allow Hanley Ramirez to shift to Ortiz's vacated DH spot.

"It gives you a little more confidence," Moreland said. "I take pride in that. That's going to be my main goal, to go out and show what they saw."

A left-handed batter like Ortiz, Moreland knows some people will expect him to fill the void offensively because of which side of the plate he bats from.

"I think it'll be a group effort picking up what will be missing," he said. "There's no replacing that guy."

Manager John Farrell also said the club needs to move on from Ortiz so Moreland and everyone else can relax and focus on their own game.

"David's effect on the lineup was felt by a number of people. We know opponents would game plan for David," Farrell said. "I think it's important for our guys - as we put David out of our mind, in a good way - that it's still a focus on what their strengths are in the strike zone."

The transition may be easy for Moreland so far, but one thing has certainly changed: spending spring training in Florida instead of Arizona.

"Fishing's a lot different than Arizona, so that's nice," he said.

NOTES: "We're getting a firsthand look to why he's been so successful and an elite pitcher," Farrell said after left-hander Chris Sale pitched batting practice. The Red Sox acquired Sale from the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade for four prospects. They also acquired right-handed, hard-throwing setup man Tyler Thornburg from Milwaukee . . . Farrell said righty Steven Wright, who missed the final two months of the season with a shoulder injury, "was unrestricted in his throwing." . . . The Red Sox will have a shorter workout Tuesday with the players association set to talk to the team and the organization's annual charity golf tournament in the afternoon.