On this date in Texas Rangers history, Kevin Brown threw a gem against the Chicago White Sox, as he won his fifth game of the 1989 season.
It was June 9, 1989, at Arlington Stadium, and the White Sox were in town to face the Rangers, who were six games over .500 entering the game. In truth, Brown didn’t need much offense that night, as the Rangers won the game, 3-1. Leadoff man Cecil Espy was the only Rangers player with two hits, while Rafael Palmeiro and Ruben Sierra each drove in a run.
Brown was sharp that night. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out six. He threw 126 pitches and nearly made it a complete game. The Rangers turned to Jeff Russell to get the final out, giving Russell his 12th save of the season. Brown improved to 5-2.
Brown was the No. 4 overall pick in the 1986 Major League Baseball draft, and he made his big league debut later that season, making a start against Oakland in which he recorded his first MLB win. Brown reappeared with the Rangers in 1988, but he became a full member of the rotation in 1989, the same year Nolan Ryan arrived in Arlington.
Brown grew into an All-Star by the 1992 season, a year in which he had an MLB-leading 21 wins and finished sixth in Cy Young voting in the American League. It was the first 20-win season for a Rangers pitcher since Ferguson Jenkins won 25 games in 1974.
The hope was that Brown could be an entrenched starter for the Rangers for years to come. But he left Arlington after the 1994 players strike to sign with Baltimore. He won a World Series with Florida in 1997, part of a five-season stretch in which he made four All-Star game appearances and finished in the top six in Cy Young voting four times. He led the National League in ERA twice.
He pitched until the age of 40, which came in 2005. He won 211 career MLB games, with 78 of those wins coming in Texas.
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