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Braves pitcher charged with DUI
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ATLANTA - Atlanta Braves pitcher Derek Lowe was charged Thursday with drunken driving, another blow to a team already dealing with allegations that pitching coach Roger McDowell spewed homophobic comments before a game in San Francisco last weekend.

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 an alcoholic beverage 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 also was stopped, but there were no immediate details on whether he was charged.

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

"Obviously we are concerned and disappointed about the events involving Derek Lowe overnight," the team said in a statement. "We are currently gathering information and plan to address this matter later today."

Lowe, who could not immediately be reached for comment, 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 earned run average. He is scheduled to make his next start Sunday.

The Braves already were investigating allegations against McDowell, who was accused of making crude comments, sexual gestures and threatened to knock out a fan's teeth with a bat. The coach could face disciplinary action from the team or Major League Baseball.

"I am deeply sorry that I responded to the heckling fans in San Francisco," McDowell said in a statement, his only public comments on the incident. "I apologize to everyone for my actions."

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation said McDowell's apology was only a start, and baseball commissioner Bud Selig called the accusations "very troubling." MLB is awaiting the results of the Braves' investigation before determining whether to take action.

McDowell was a star reliever with the Mets and Philadelphia Phillies in the late 1980s and early '90s, playing a key role on New York's 1986 World Series-winning club.

He has been the Atlanta's pitching coach since 2005.