Saturday, April 01, 2006

Mike Lowell Finally Homers for BoSox

If Mike Lowell's first homer of the spring signals he has finally broken out of his 12-month slump, it comes none too soon. Though Lowell, 32, appears to have had a discriminating batter's eye as he reached base more than 40 percent of the time this spring, coaches noted his sluggish bat speed and continuation of the power loss that plagued him all last season. Lowell's homer, which he followed up with a pair of sharply hit singles, was a screaming liner to left off Phillies starter Gavin Floyd on Saturday. Though Lowell averaged 25 homers for the previous five years before last, '05 saw his longballs fall to just eight and his average drop to just .236. This year the Red Sox have dropped him to No. 7 in the batting order.