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Lowe Walked Away With Win in Relief

Times Staff Writers

Derek Lowe’s chances of pitching in the World Series this season remain uncertain. But you would have to like his chances in the World Series of Poker.

The Dodgers right-hander proved himself a master bluffer Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium when he confidently marched to the plate to lead off the 14th inning of a game against the Cincinnati Reds that the Dodgers would win in the 16th, 6-5.

Lowe, who pitched three innings of relief Tuesday night, is still bothered by a bruise in the palm of his left hand, the result of a line drive that knocked him out of Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“I had no intention of swinging the bat,” Lowe said of Tuesday night’s plate appearance.

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But Lowe wasn’t going to let Cincinnati left-hander Bill Bray know that.

“I took a fake practice swing in the on-deck circle,” Lowe said. “I looked ‘hitterish.’ Is that a word?”

Bray certainly didn’t get the word, walking Lowe to open inning.

“When you’re batting .093, you put the fear of God in people,” Lowe said.

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The Dodger pitcher wound up getting erased on a double play. He threw only 22 pitches and still planned to take his regular start Friday against Colorado.

It was Lowe’s idea to make his first relief appearance since the 2004 postseason and first in the regular season since 2001.

“I went to [Manager Grady Little] in the ninth or 10th inning,” Lowe said, “and asked him, ‘Do you want me to go to the bullpen?’ Any time you play five hours, you want to win. I’ll worry about tomorrow when it comes.”

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In the bidding for veteran left-hander David Wells, the San Diego Padres appeared to be the front-runners Wednesday night, while the Dodgers remained unwilling to include their top prospects -- Matt Kemp, James Loney or Andy LaRoche -- in trade discussions with the fading Boston Red Sox.

According to league sources, Boston General Manager Theo Epstein’s interest appears to be in Padres’ triple-A catcher George Kottaras.

Wells would have to be dealt today to be eligible for the postseason for his new team. He is scheduled to pitch tonight against Toronto.

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The Dodgers sent left-hander Tim Hamulack to Class-A Vero Beach and brought up left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo from triple-A Las Vegas.


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