Mark Lowe, now a reliever for the Angels, was back in San Manuel Stadium (back then Arrowhead Credit Union Park) on Tuesday for the first time since he was with the 66ers for the first two months of the 2006 season. Back then, Lowe was with the 66ers when they were a Seattle Mariners affiliate. On Tuesday, he was with the 66ers as part of a rehabilitation assignment as he recovers from a stiff neck.
That was the last 66er team to win a California League championship. But it was a magical year for Lowe in a different way. By the end of the season he wasn’t winning a Cal League title, he was in the big leagues.
“I felt like that year, I couldn’t do anything wrong,” Lowe said.
Lowe recalled one 66er game from 2006 in particular that I remembered as well. That year he had been converted from being a starter to being a reliever, but he was pressed into duty as a starter in Game 2 of a doubleheader against High Desert in San Bernardino on April 15, 2006.
Lowe pitched five dominating innings in the seven-inning contest, allowing only one baserunner to reach base. With two outs in the fourth, a throwing error by third baseman Ronnie Prettyman allowed Rusty Brown to reach first base. Lowe struck out eight in five innings.
“I remember wanting to go back out for the sixth, since it was only a seven-inning game, but they wouldn’t let me,” Lowe said.
Reliever Aaron Trolia allowed a two-out double to Juan Senreiso in the sixth, breaking up the no-hit bid. Stephen Kahn pitched the seventh for the save in the 3-0 win and the trio of pitchers settled for a combined one-hitter. The game turned out to be Lowe’s only California League victory.