Bulls' Lowe homers in four-hit outburst

Rays No. 8 prospect drives in four runs, scores three times

Nate Lowe has 13 hits in the last 10 games, raising his average to .297, its highest mark since April 28. (Lance Carter/MiLB.com)

By Duane Cross / MiLB.com | August 18, 2019 7:29 PM

Nate Lowe put an exclamation point on a week's worth of work. Now he's ready to bring on tomorrow.

The eighth-ranked Rays prospect pounded out a season-high four hits, including his 15th homer, drove in four runs and scored three times as Triple-A Durham outlasted Buffalo, 10-7, on Sunday at Sahlen Field.

Video: Bulls' Lowe belts oppo home run

Over his last seven games, the 2016 13th-round pick is 12-for-29 (.414) with two long balls, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored.

On Sunday, he jump-started the Bulls in the first inning with a two-run dinger, an opposite-field blast off Conor Fisk that cleared the left-field wall and plated Emilio Bonifacio for a 2-0 advantage. He singled to right off the right-hander in the second, scoring Kean Wong to push the lead to 6-2.

He was 1-for-7 in the series entering getaway day and said he was disappointed after an 0-for-3 showing on Saturday.

"Yesterday was not a good game," Lowe said. "The day before, I wasn't real happy with it, either. A lot of the guys around me are playing well and I just thought, 'It's Sunday, it's a day game, it's a travel day ... will I be sitting around at the end of December waiting for the offseason to end and regret not giving it my all today?'

Gameday box score

"So I just said, 'It's Aug. 18, it's a 1 o'clock game, there will be shadows.' I could be negative or apply myself and give myself a good shot."

Making the most of his opportunities is what the 24-year-old is focused on. He's been called up to the Major Leagues three times this season, hitting .294/.365/.510 with five homers and 13 RBIs in 102 at-bats. Since he's at Durham, that means he's also been sent back to the Minor Leagues three times.

"I have realized that for the rest of the season, it's about wanting to be here -- wherever I am," he said. "It doesn't do any good to focus on [Tampa Bay] wherever I am. I have to be where I am."

After flying to center in the fourth, Lowe led off the seventh with a single to left against left-hander Tayler Saucedo. He scored on a bases-loaded walk by Dalton Kelly as Durham went up, 7-6. The Bulls put away the game with a three-run eighth. Lowe singled off lefty Kirby Snead (5-2) to plate Bonifacio and snap a 7-7 tie, then scored on Michael Perez's two-out, two-run homer.

"The home run got the day rolling," the Mississippi State product said. "The last couple days, the winds have been circling, howling. I also can get super-selective and overthink [at the plate]. It was a great start and it was contagious, the hitting was throughout the team.

2019 MiLB include

"A day like [Sunday] sets you up to have a great week. Getting back to Durham, [it's] a good spot to drive the ball out. Charlotte and Gwinnett, they all have arms we've seen before."

Bonifacio, Wong, Kelly and Rocky Gale also had multiple hits for Durham, which totaled 15 knocks against a half-dozen hurlers.

Reliever Phoenix Sanders (1-0) recorded his first Double-A win, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk with one strikeout in two innings. Cole Sulser picked up his second save, chalking up three punchouts across two perfect frames.

Duane Cross is a contributor to MiLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DuaneCrossMiLB. This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

View More