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Texas Rangers acquire former Cubs ace Mark Prior

September 3, 2010 |  5:40 pm

He played for the Orange County Flyers for only one month, but it was enough. Former Chicago Cubs ace Mark Prior was acquired Friday by the Texas Rangers.

Prior, who pitched in relief for the Flyers of the independent Golden Baseball League, will be assigned to triple-A Oklahoma City, according to Flyers Manager Paul Abbott.

The numbers look strong. Prior threw 11 innings in nine appearances, striking out 22 of 44 total batters faced while not allowing an earned run. He issued only five walks.

Last week, Prior pitched on back-to-back days for the first time in his professional career. And on Tuesday, he threw a scoreless eighth inning for the Flyers.

Prior, who will turn 30 on Tuesday, spent five seasons with the Chicago Cubs from 2002-06, starting 30 games in 2003 while going 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA over 30 starts and finishing third in the National League Cy Young voting. In those five years, he went 42-29 with 3.51 earned-run average and 757 strikeouts over 106 starts spanning 657 innings.

Injuries derailed his career and he has not pitched in the major leagues since 2006. His push to revive that career was detailed in The Times last month. 

-- Debbie Goffa