Mike Lowell to make decision about retirement in September

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While on a rehab assignment at Triple-A yesterday Mike Lowell told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he “will let you know in September” whether he plans to retire after the season.
Lowell recently spent some time away from baseball at home in Miami and said the experience was “a nice glimpse of what it would be with my family and it made me really excited for that part of my life.”
Lowell is hoping to return from the disabled list early next month and presumably the “in September” decision timeline stems from the August 31 trade deadline. If another team steps up their interest in Lowell and brings him in to help down the stretch, it may convince him to play another season. If he goes unclaimed on waivers and the Red Sox can’t find a taker for him (or don’t use him themselves) then retirement may be the choice.
And of course any further setbacks with his hip problems could make the decision for him without any of that stuff coming into play.

Video: Albert Almora, Jr. saved by the ivy

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The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.

After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.

Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.

Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.