He’s not sure why, but the Braves sure score runs when Derek Lowe is pitching.
Lowe worked five innings Sunday in the Braves’ 7-1 win over the Astros, completing a three-game sweep at Turner Field. He is 4-2 on the season with a 5.18 ERA.
Here is where the stats get startling. In his six starts, the Braves have scored 46 runs for an average of 7.7 a game. In the 19 other games, the Braves have scored 56 runs for an average of 2.9 a game.
“It’s fantastic, isn’t it?” Lowe said. “Those things you can’t explain. There are years when I’ve gotten even better [run support] than this and there are years when you lose 10 games and they score five runs in the 10 losses. There is no rhyme or reason to it. You are happy when it happens but you don’t go into any game expecting them to score or not to score. I’m definitely fortunate we’ve scored a lot of runs in my six starts and as you’ve seen I’ve needed pretty much all of them.”
The right-hander has not gone more than six innings in any start this season. He was taken out after five with the Braves holding a 7-1 lead Sunday. Manager Bobby Cox and Lowe said he was removed after a lengthy fifth inning, where Lowe threw 20 pitches and then the Braves scored three times.
“He was at 80 [pitches] or so,” Cox said. “The inning lasted forever. The fifth inning, he had to pitch like heck to get out of that inning. We were probably going to let him go back out if it was a quick inning, but it turned into a real long inning. And we had a full bullpen in force today.”
Lowe gave up six hits and one earned run Sunday, with three strikeouts and one walk.
“It’s exactly what we needed,” Lowe said of the three-game winning streak that came after a nine-game losing streak. “We didn’t play well for nine games and Tommy [Hanson] got us off on the right foot on Friday and that was a really big game for us to get us back on our winning ways. We’ve pitched well and all three days the offense has been really good. We are headed back on the road with some confidence, which we dearly needed.”