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Kyle Gibson emerging as Texas Rangers' ace as he lives with faith on display

Kyle Gibson’s second season with the Texas Rangers got off to a rocky start as he gave up five earned runs and only recorded one out in the first Opening Day start of his career.

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In his seven starts since, however, the 33-year-old’s been among the best pitchers in baseball. Gibson allowed multiple earned runs in just one of those seven starts and now owns a 3-0 record on the season. He’s tied for second in MLB with seven quality starts.

He went six innings allowing one run in his most recent start against the San Francisco Giants on Monday, dropping his ERA to 2.28. John Means, Gerrit Cole, Brandon Woodruff, Yu Darvish and Gibson are the only pitchers with at least 47 innings pitched this year and an ERA below 2.30 at the end of Thursday’s games.

It’s been a resurgence of sorts for Gibson, who signed a three-year deal with the Rangers in December 2019. He made 12 starts and posted a 5.35 ERA with a 2-6 record in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, as Texas finished with the worst record in the American League. Thanks in no small part to Gibson this year, the 18-21 Rangers are already four wins away from matching their total from 60 games last season.

Now in his ninth season in the majors, Gibson is a battle-tested veteran who’s experienced the ups and downs of competing at the highest level. An outspoken Christian, he relies on God for comfort and strength.

“It’s amazing how comforting God is and how loving He is and how merciful He is when you make a mistake and you mess up,” Gibson said in a 2018 video for The Increase:

The former Minnesota Twin has put his faith on display through his work with Big League Impact, an organization started by St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright. They teamed up last year with country music star Garth Brooks to provide 4 million meals to children who rely on school meals.

The charitable contributions are an intentional effort by Gibson to honor God with the resources he’s been given.

“We’re just trying to be good stewards of where He’s put us,” Gibson said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast in 2018. “I think there’s more verses in the Bible about money than there are about a lot of things, and how you’re supposed to use it and how you’re supposed to steward it. And that’s just what we’re trying to do. We’re trying to steward the funds God’s blessed us with.”

He also discussed his approach to evangelism in a 2019 video for The Increase.

“To me, it’s how I talk, how I live, the conversations I have, how I parent and how I love my wife — all of those things can evangelize [to] people in a silent way or in a verbal way,” he said. “We’ve gotten away from ‘here’s the pastor with the Bible in front of us and he’s the evangelist,’ to ‘we are the body of Christ and we are always on mission and always living out the Word in order to spread the love and evangelize.’”

Gibson is scheduled to take the mound again Sunday as the Rangers face the Houston Astros.

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