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Lowe sparks offense with steals

Shane Lowe has made a good impression on the basepaths this season.

He swiped two more bags in Monday's 9-6 loss to Eugene, bringing his season total to nine, which puts him fourth among Northwest League leaders. That's not bad considering he is lucky to get even half the starts as any of the other players in the top 10.

It seems when he steals bases, he does it in bunches, too. Monday was the fourth time he has had two steals in a game. And with the exception of Monday, the Dust Devils win whenever he does get a steal.

Monday's loss was far from his fault, though. Lowe's presence on the basepaths seemed to rattle Eugene catcher Jason Hagerty, who committed two throwing errors trying to throw Lowe out. Both errors led to runs.

By the way, Lowe also made a nice defensive play to end the eighth inning, gunning down Nate Freiman at second base after hustling to the left field line to grab Freiman's liner.

If Lowe's on-base percentage were a little higher (it's currently just .286 with a batting average of .149) he would likely be the NWL leader in steals.

"He has plus speed, and he's aggressive on the bases. He's not afraid to run," said Tri-City manager Fred Ocasio. "Imagine him hitting .250. He'd have about 20 steals."

But that's part of the difficulty of coming off the bench in a situation where organizations want to give the new draft picks every chance they can to get playing time. The second- and third-year guys are left to fight for the remaining playing time.

But Lowe has picked his spots, and he deserves a little praise for a good job Monday.