Sign him up Theo!!!!!!!!!!

Mike Lowell smacked the winning hit in last night’s 2-1 win against the Colorado Rockies in Game 2 of the World Series, offering another example of why so many people cannot imagine him not playing third base for the Red Sox [team stats] next year.

Even before Lowell came through with his double in the fifth inning that drove in David Ortiz [stats], general manager Theo Epstein offered a ray of hope that the veteran might stick around.

“(Re-signing Lowell is) a priority for the offseason, and I’m sure we’ll be able to get something done,” Epstein said of his pending free agent. “We have a desire to keep him here a long time. He’s a core member of the organization. It’s just not the time to talk about that.”

There is no evidence to suggest Lowell and the Sox suddenly have made progress on a long-term contract. Both parties yesterday stressed that this is the postseason, not the hot stove season. Of course, Lowell’s contribution last night certainly will help his already powerful free agent case with any team interested in securing his services.

“I guess that’s good,” Lowell said of Epstein’s confidence. “It sounds like I got an endorsement from the GM, but I really don’t know how to respond.

“Yes, it sounds good, but I don’t think it matters right now when we’re all focused on trying to win more games.”

That is exactly what Lowell was able to do against Rockies starter Ubaldo Jimenez. After being nearly untouchable the first three innings, Jimenez hit a rough patch in the fourth, when the Sox tied the game at 1. Lowell walked and scored on Jason Varitek [stats]’s sacrifice fly.

In the fifth, with two outs, Ortiz drew a walk, then Manny Ramirez [stats] singled, pushing Ortiz to second. Lowell came up and doubled down the left field line.

“It turned out to be the winning hit,” Lowell said. “But I wasn’t thinking when I hit it that it was the difference. I’m very happy that it turned out to be the winning run. I think it magnified the hit.”

In the fourth, Lowell reached third base with aggressive baserunning. After his walk, J.D. Drew [stats] lined a shot over the head of second baseman Kaz Matsui. Lowell hesitated a bit before deciding to try for third. His hand just reached the bag before third baseman Garrett Atkins applied the tag after receiving a strong throw from right fielder Brian Hawpe.

“When J.D. first hit it, I though I had to be careful because I didn’t want to get picked off and doubled up,” Lowell said. “As I rounded second, I figured, ‘Hey man, it’s 1-0, one out,’ and I figured that it would take a perfect throw to get me out. It turned out it was pretty much a perfect throw.”

Still, Lowell was safe at third.

“He’s been a horse for us all year - consistent, and I mean consistent from Day One and driving in a lot of runs, playing third,” manager Terry Francona said. “Today, his baserunning, he’s just a really good player, and probably a better person.”
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