Braves' Derek Lowe charged with DUI

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Braves pitcher Derek Lowe apologized Friday after being charged with drunken driving, saying he hoped his arrest would not be a distraction to the team.

Gordy Wright, a spokesman for the Georgia State Patrol, said a trooper stopped Lowe's vehicle about 10 p.m. Thursday after it was spotted racing another car down an Atlanta street. The trooper detected an odor of alcohol and administered a field sobriety test, which resulted in Lowe's arrest.

The 37-year-old right-hander was charged with DUI, reckless driving and improper lane change, Wright said. Lowe declined to take a breath test before he was released, the spokesman added. The other driver was also stopped, but there were no details on whether he was charged.

"I would like to apologize to my family, teammates, fans and the Braves organization for the attention arising from this matter," Lowe said in a statement. "However, I am hopeful that this incident will not be a distraction to the Braves organization while we are focused on returning to the playoffs."

The Braves were off Thursday after returning home from a West Coast road trip. They opened a three-game series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.

"This is a legal matter and I anticipate this case can promptly be resolved within the court system," Lowe said.

The Braves said they would wait for the case to be resolved in the courts before they considered any disciplinary action against Lowe. He will make his next scheduled start Sunday against the Cardinals.

"We don't condone it. We don't like it," manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "But it happens. It happens in all walks of life, all professions. It's not good. He's got to go through some legal stuff that everybody goes through. Hopefully, our guys learn a lesson from it."

Lowe's arrest came while the team was already dealing with allegations that pitching coach Roger McDowell made homophobic comments, along with crude and threatening gestures, while bantering with fans before a game at San Francisco last weekend.

McDowell was placed on administrative leave Friday while the team investigated his conduct. Dave Wallace, the Braves' minor league pitching coordinator, took over as the interim pitching coach.

Lowe is in the third season of a four-year, $60 million contract with the Braves. He has been the team's opening day starter all three years.

This season, Lowe is 2-3 with a 3.21 ERA.