Years of bottled-up frustration between Cleveland’s Derek Lowe
and Reds manager Dusty Baker spilled over last week in
The two won’t have to wait nearly as long to pick up where they
As the Ohio Cup series resumes Monday night at Progressive
Field, Lowe will take the ball in the opener just days after he and
Baker took several verbal shots at one another.
The NL Central-leading Reds (38-27) outscored the Indians 24-9
in sweeping last week’s three-game series at Great American Ball
Park. Brandon Phillips, who made his major league debut with
Cleveland a decade ago, went 8 for 13 with two home runs and seven
RBIs in the series, while Joey Votto was 5 for 10 with a pair of
homers and six RBIs.
Although Cincinnati dominated the series, that success was
somewhat overshadowed by a feud between Baker and Lowe (7-5, 3.78
In the Reds’ 5-3 win on Wednesday, Lowe took exception to an
inside pitch thrown by Mat Latos in the fifth inning. Lowe motioned
to the Reds’ dugout, believing the pitch came on orders from Baker,
and the Cincinnati skipper shook his finger back at him. In the
bottom of the inning, Lowe hit Phillips and both benches were
After the game, Lowe, who allowed three runs, five hits and a
season-high tying six walks in six innings, reiterated his belief
that the pitch was intentional and the result of what he described
as a falling out he and Baker had four years ago. The 39-year-old
right-hander said he has “zero respect for the guy.”
Baker acknowledged Latos was ordered to throw inside to Lowe in
retaliation for Lowe’s hitting Votto in the back during a game in
2009. Baker claims there isn’t a personal issue between the two of
them, but went right back at Lowe prior to Thursday’s finale.
“He don’t respect himself because the word was that whatever he
did and said, there was probably a good chance he was drinking at
the ballpark at that time three or four years ago, so he don’t
remember what he said or what he did, OK?” Baker said.
“What he was talking about was something that he said and did a
few years ago. You’ve got to ask him what that was. Understand? And
he got a lot of people involved in the situation that didn’t need
to be involved in the situation.”
Also before Thursday’s game, Lowe said he was aware of Baker’s
response but wasn’t going to say anything more.
The biggest concern now for Lowe and the Indians is to return to
their winning ways. Lowe has lost his two starts after going 5-2
with a 2.90 ERA in his previous eight, and Cleveland (33-32) has
dropped five of six.
The Reds, meanwhile, pushed their winning streak to a
season-high six games by sweeping the New York Mets at Citi
Phillips hit a tiebreaking single in the fifth inning in
Sunday’s 3-1 win, and is batting .419 with 10 RBIs during a
season-high seven-game hitting streak.
“We’re having fun,” Phillips told the Reds’ official website.
“It’s fun winning.”
Votto has been even hotter at the plate. He had three hits
Sunday and has hit safely in 21 of 22 games, batting a remarkable
.500 with 11 doubles and 19 runs scored.
Latos (5-2, 4.64), who got the win opposite Lowe on Wednesday by
allowing two runs while striking out seven in seven innings, will
get the ball looking to win a sixth straight decision.
The Reds lost Latos’ first three starts with the right-hander
registering an 8.22 ERA, but he is 5-0 with a 3.73 ERA in 10 starts
since as Cincinnati has won eight times.