On this date in Texas Rangers history, the Rangers started by setting an ignominious Major League record but wrapped up the night by beating the Chicago White Sox.
On May 28, 1986, the Rangers hosted the White Sox at Arlington Stadium, with young Ed Correa starting for the Rangers and Joe Cowley starting for the White Sox. After Correa guided the Rangers through a scoreless top half of the first inning, Cowley went to work on the Rangers.
Rangers lead-off man Oddibe McDowell struck out. So did Scott Fletcher. And then Pete O’Brien struck out to end the first inning. Hey, striking out the side isn’t that rare, right?
Then came the second inning. Pete Incaviglia? Yep, the Rangers’ clean-up man struck out. Gary Ward followed that with a strikeout. Then George Wright failed to connect. And the second inning ended with Cowley logging six straight strikeouts to start the game.
The White Sox scored a run in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. In the bottom of the third, Cowley kept right on trucking, fanning Rangers third baseman Steve Buechele for his seventh straight strikeout to start the game, setting an American League record. Finally, Rangers catcher Orlando Mercado ended Cowley’s streak by not striking out.
Not long after that, the Rangers ended Cowley’s evening. Down 1-0 entering the bottom of the fourth, the Rangers scored two runs in the fourth inning, and four more runs in the fifth inning, which chased off Cowley, who despite his tremendous start, took the loss.
Incaviglia, Ward, Buechele and Curt Wilkerson each had two hits. Buechele had a home run off Cowley in the fifth inning.
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Of particular note was the starting center fielder that evening for the White Sox: Bobby Bonilla. He started his rookie season with the White Sox before they dealt him to Pittsburgh later that year.
Bonilla actually started his pro career in the Pittsburgh organization, but the White Sox acquired Bonilla in the 1985 Rule 5 Draft. The Pirates traded pitcher José DeLeón to get Bonilla back, which proved to be a good move as he helped the Pirates win three straight National League East titles from 1990-92.
But Bonilla might be most known for the most infamous contract in baseball. Despite retiring after the 2001 season, Bonilla earns $1.19 million from the New York Mets every July 1 from 2011 through 2035.
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