Game 3, bottom of the 2nd, no outs, Lowe leads off with Texas leading 1 to 0
As we'd mentioned previously, Lowe was in a rough spot for the series. While most of the bats came alive in game two, his did not. He drew the crucial walk mentioned above, but then that was it for him all day as his averaged for the playoffs dropped to just .167. He was in desperate need of something huge. And while that didn't come at this moment, he did something equally heroic in his first plate appearance of the evening.
One inning earlier, Corey Seager put Texas up front with a solo home run off a fairly well-placed changeup. While the Rangers would get a couple more hits in the inning, they still failed to show the patience that had fared well for them previously in the postseason.
Texas starter Nathan Eovaldi would go out and breeze through the second on just nine pitches, putting Lowe at the plate to lead off the bottom of the inning. The ensuing battle was the kind of thing legends are made of.
Looking strictly at the box score play-by-play listing, one will merely see a lineout to left field. But this was so much more than that. Lowe proceeded to hit the "reset" button for the Texas lineup as he gave Baltimore starter Dean Kremer everything he could handle. The crazy thing is, Lowe would fall behind in the count 0-2 right out of the gate. He fouled off the third pitch, then took a high and tight four-seamer for ball one. The fifth pitch would come in towards his belt and he laid off to even the count. Lowe then fought off the sixth offering and the seventh would miss way up on the outer edge of the dish.
By this point, Kremer had already tossed seven pitches to the leadoff hitter of the inning and had become noticeably sweaty. Offering number eight, notably the eighth fastball of some kind within the at bat, arrived low and away, which Lowe proceeded to bat off foul. Number nine shot over the heart of the plate and suffered the same fate as every other pitch that Lowe took a cut at. The tenth pitch, a sinker missed up and away, but still over the heart of the plate and Lowe got a piece of it to stay alive. Pitches 11 and 12 both came in low and over the inside part of the plate to be fouled away, too. Lowe batted away the 13th, which could have easily been ruled ball four, but was also fouled off. The 14th pitch would arrive belt high, and Lowe swatted it away with malice. Finally, an already exhausted Kremer dealt the 15th pitch, a sinker on the outer edge. Lowe struck it hard, shooting it to the opposite field in left, but Hays took it in for out number one.
By this point, Kremer tossed more pitches than most hurlers want to issue in a typical inning, and he had just one out to show for it. As if his proverbial will had been broken, the Rangers lineup then proceeded to work the count and make solid contact with a two-run double from Garver and then a back-breaking three-run blast from García. Just like that, the score shot to 6-0 and Kremer left the mound with just 1 2/3 innings pitched to his name.
He would fade into the evening in much the same way the Orioles chances of winning the series did. Lowe would later go on to connect on an emotional home run that everyone watching enjoyed seeing him celebrate. And while that was certainly a big moment for him, that huge Texas second might not have happened without his heroic line out to lead off the inning. But the rest as they say, is history.