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It's Brown in Miami, vs. Miami

The last time Kevin Brown took the mound in Miami, his opponents were the Cleveland Indians in Game 6 of the World Series.

Tonight his opponents are the Marlins.

Brown, now with the Padres, will pitch against Livan Hernandez in a matchup that is the result of Florida's off-season dismantling. Brown was the ace for the World Series champions, and Hernandez was the World Series MVP.

"It's going to be a little strange," Hernandez said.

Brown, perhaps trying to distance himself from the team that traded him, arrived Thursday at Pro Player Stadium without the World Series ring he usually wears on the road. The Marlins have used his name in advertisements to promote the game, but he doesn't expect a big reception.

"It's probably going to be kind of quiet," Brown said. "I wouldn't think there would be a ton of people."

Attendance in Miami has declined 25 percent since the breakup of the champions.

ASTROS: Former pitching great Nolan Ryan, his son and former part-owner Don Sanders are buying Houston's Double-A affiliate in Jackson, Miss., and plan to move the team to Central Texas. Nolan Ryan said the group was in discussions with Round Rock, a suburb of Austin; Austin, Georgetown, Cedar Park and San Marcos also have been considered.

DIAMONDBACKS: LHP Joel Adamson, the No. 5 starter, needs surgery to repair a torn left rotator cuff.

GIANTS: IF Jeff Kent agreed to an $18-million, three-year extension through 2001 with a $6-million club option for 2002 or a $300,000 buyout. Kent can't be traded to Montreal or Toronto without consent.

PHILLIES: Mitch Williams, who saved a club-record 43 games for Philadelphia in 1993 before giving up the winning homer to Toronto's Joe Carter in the World Series, will fill in as the public-address announcer today. "All this is is talking, and I'm pretty much a professional at that," Williams said. Regular announcer Dan Baker will miss the game against Houston because of a death in the family.

PIRATES: The Dodgers game drew 9,728. Pittsburgh's average of 14,689 is the second lowest to Montreal in the NL.

_ TIMES WIRES

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