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All-Star Lowell Back in Marlins' Lineup

October 04, 2003|From Associated Press

MIAMI — All-Star third baseman Mike Lowell was back in the Florida Marlins' lineup for his first postseason start Friday, replacing slumping rookie Miguel Cabrera.

Lowell, sidelined for four weeks with a broken hand until he was activated Sunday, went 0 for 3 before being replaced in a double switch in the seventh inning. He then watched as the Marlins rallied in the 11th inning to beat San Francisco, 4-3, and take a 2-1 lead in their playoff series.

"Things are going our way," Lowell said. "I hope they keep going our way. I don't have an explanation, but I'll take it."

Lowell said his hand felt good. After being activated from the disabled list, he went one for four in the final game of the regular season but didn't start or bat in the first two playoff games.

Lowell has acknowledged his hand is not 100 percent, but he said he was ready to start. Cabrera is 0 for 9 with four strikeouts in the series.

"It was a tough decision," Manager Jack McKeon said. "I thought about it all night and talked to my coaches about it. It was a consensus that, hey, Mike was ready. He was a big factor in our push to get here. And Miguel had a little tough time the first two games. This might be a good time to give him a breather."

Despite missing 32 games, Lowell led the Marlins this season with 32 home runs and 105 RBIs.

*

Barry Bonds got chances early, and the Marlins even took one with him late. It wasn't enough for the Giants.

Bonds went one for four and walked twice. He had several opportunities, the biggest in the 11th inning with a runner on first and no outs. Bonds hit a sharp grounder to short off reliever Braden Looper. Alex Gonzalez couldn't handle it, an error that left runners at first and third.

The Giants scored the go-ahead run, but Ivan Rodriguez's two-run single in the bottom of the inning gave the Marlins a 2-1 lead in the series.

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