At Edsel Ford High School in Dearborn, Michigan, Lowe was a four-sport letterman in baseball, golf, soccer and basketball. He was an all-league player in all four sports. He was also a first team all-state pick in basketball.
Lowe was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in the 8th round of the 1991 amateur draft and made his Major League debut in 1997. Seattle, however, was desperate for immediate bullpen help and packaged Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek into a deal with the Boston Red Sox for Heathcliff Slocumb. With the gift of hindsight, it has become a very popular deal among Red Sox fans.
Lowe compiled a 5-15 record over his first two seasons, during which he split time starting and relieving, but came into his own in 1999 after being transferred into the closer's role, finishing the season with 15 saves and a sparkling 2.63 ERA.
Lowe had his best season as a closer in 2000 when he led the American League with 42 saves. He was regarded as an unconventional closer, however, as he didn't overwhelm hitters. As a result, despite 24 saves early in the 2001 season, Lowe lost the job of closer at the trading deadline, July 31, when Boston acquired star closer Ugueth Urbina from the Montreal Expos. Lowe was left in limbo, forced to take jobs in the bullpen.
In 2002, Lowe moved back into the starting rotation, a move which paid off immediately. He posted a 21-8 record, a 2.58 ERA, and finished 3rd in Cy Young Award voting behind Barry Zito and teammate Pedro Martinez.
Lowe struggled through much of the 2003 season but, boosted by the strength of Boston's unflinching offense, posted a 17-7 record despite an atypical 4.47 ERA. In 2004 he finished at 14-12 with a 5.42 ERA in 33 starts. But he was 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in four games during the postseason, three of them starts. He was the winner in the final game of all three postseason series — against the Angels, Yankees and Cardinals — as the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years. Lowe has a 72-59 career record with 85 saves.
Controversially, Lowe wore a Boston Red Sox uniform, with his career-long number of 32, during the Red Sox World Series ring ceremony on April 11, 2005, after already pitching for the Los Angeles Dodgers. It has been characterized as a "fraternization" and unprofessional, although much to the delight of the Red Sox fans.
On August 3, FSN West in Los Angeles announced that "Dodger Dugout" anchor Carolyn Hughes had been suspended pending an investigation into a potential relationship between her and Lowe. The pitcher recently filed for divorce from his wife of seven years, Trinka Lowe, by whom he fathered two children.
- All-Star (2000, 2002)
- No-hitter vs. Tampa Bay Devil Rays (April 27, 2002)
- Finished 3rd in American League Cy Young Award voting (2002)
- Led the American League in saves with 42 (2000)
- Finished 2nd in the American League in wins with 21 (2002)
- Winner of the deciding game of the American League Division Series, American League Championship Series, and World Series in the same year (2004)
- The final pitcher for both 2003 and 2004 ALDS series. Both were emotional wins that set up the eventual ALCS showdown with the Yankees.
- Seattle Mariners (1997)
- Boston Red Sox (1997-2004)
- Los Angeles Dodgers (2005-)