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The writing might already be on the wall for Derek Lowe.
After making the Texas Rangers' roster as more of a necessity than someone earning a spot, the veteran starter-turned reliever came into a tight spot in relief of Matt Harrison on Sunday night in Houston and immediately gave up a crushing blow that turned a 4-2 deficit into a blowout.
It was so bad, in fact, that Rangers manager Ron Washington — more than once — referred to Lowe as "Mark Lowe," the former Rangers reliever who fell out of favor and is now in the Los Angeles Dodgers system.
With two on and two out in the bottom of the sixth inning, Harrison got yanked in favor of Lowe, for some unknown reason. The Rangers had fought back from 4-0 to 4-2 in the previous inning and Washington went to his long reliever in a tight situation needing one out. Lowe didn't get close to getting it as pinch-hitter Rick Ankiel blasted a three-run home run to right field to give the Astros a 7-2 lead and put them well on their way to an 8-2 win in their first AL game against their in-state "rival."
Lowe isn't going to be cut, but that wasn't the way the veteran reliever wanted to start his Rangers career, and Washington will probably think twice before sending him out in a leverage situation any time soon.