Brown will try to give them another stellar outing in the opener of a three-game series against the Texas Rangers.
Brown spent the first two months of the season battling his body, perplexed by his performance. Then he spent seven weeks on the disabled list because of back spasms and an intestinal parasite that weakened him.
“You just can’t help but look over your shoulder and wonder,” said Brown, who is 9-1 with a 3.60 ERA in 15 starts.
Brown pitched his best game of the season in his last start on Thursday. In his second outing since coming off the disabled list, Brown threw four-hit ball over eight shutout innings to beat Oakland’s Barry Zito 5-1.
“That’s the Kevin Brown we knew was in there somewhere, and he knew was in there somewhere,” Yankees manager Joe Torre said.
Brown struck out seven and walked two as he matched the longest outing by a Yankees starter this season. When he struggled, the 39-year-old right-hander at times wasn’t sure how much he had left.
“I’m not 100 percent as far as strength and stamina, but I’m a heck of a lot better,” said Brown, who went 78-64 in eight seasons with Texas. “I want to leave the game, I don’t want the game to leave me. That’s probably every player’s wish, to go out playing well and not have something happen that takes the game away from you.”
The Rangers were outscored 30-10 in their first four-game sweep in Baltimore in 13 seasons. Texas, which started the series in first place in the AL West, now stands 2 1/2 games behind first-place Oakland.
“You can’t sit there and sulk about it,” shortstop Michael Young said. “Obviously, it’s something nobody wants or accepts, but you have to find a way to put it behind you and get ready for the next series.”