Brandon McCarthy (Glendale native) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher: After the Diamondbacks returned from opening their season against the rival Los Angeles Dodgers in Australia, they turned to McCarthy on United States soil to get back on track. Arizona lost a pair of games to the Dodgers and McCarthy, a right-hander, look to provide Arizona with a needed boost when he got his first start of the season Monday against the visiting San Francisco Giants.
McCarthy did his part, leaving with the lead, but Arizona’s bullpen squandered McCarthy’s effort in suffering a 9-8 defeat. McCarthy allowed five runs (all earned) and allowed six hits in 6 2/3 innings. McCarthy struck out four and 63 of his 94 pitches were strikes.
Arizona held a 7-3 lead entering the seventh inning. San Francisco scored four runs in the seventh to knot it at 7. San Francisco pinch-hitter Ehire Adrianza doubled in a run to conclude McCarthy's start.
McCarthy thought he had struck out Adrianza on a 2-2 pitch, but to no avail.
“There was a call in the seventh that changed the entire outlook of the game,” McCarthy told the Associated Press. “We all have to execute after that point, but ... it kind of leaves a bitter taste.”
The Diamondbacks are 1-5 through Thursday.
McCarthy will look to regroup in his next scheduled start, which will be Saturday against the Colorado Rockies (1-3) in Denver.
McCarthy is 42-50 with a 4.13 earned-run average and 527 strikeouts in 176 lifetime appearances. Before joining Arizona, McCarthy pitched for the Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics.
Trevor Bell (Crescenta Valley High, 2005) Cincinnati Reds pitcher: After earning a spot in the bullpen at the end of spring training as a non-roster invitee, Bell, a former All-Area Baseball Player of the Year pick, struggled in his debut with Cincinnati on Thursday against the St. Louis Cardinals. Bell, a former first-round pick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2005 who made his major league debut with the Angels in 2009, gave up three earned runs and walked two and didn’t record an out in a 7-6 defeat.
Bell, a right-hander, came into the contest to start the top of the seventh inning with St. Louis holding a 4-3 advantage. He walked Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong before loading the bases on a single by Matt Holiday before being pulled in favor Logan Ondrusek. All three batters Bell faced scored to make it 7-3, when reliever Logan Ondrusek allowed a pair of singles and threw a wild pitch.
The single given up by Bell hit the top of the wall, with outfielder Billy Hamilton just missing a catch. The ball bounced off the wall and into the glove of right fielder Jay Bruce.
The game was delayed for nearly four hours because of rain.
The Reds (1-2) will next face the host New York Mets (0-3) in a three-game series, beginning Friday.
Marco Estrada (Glendale Community College, 2003) Milwaukee Brewers pitcher: Talk about a tough assignment to start the season for Estrada, a former All-Western State Conference honoree.
Estrada will make his first start Friday against the Boston Red Sox (2-1) at Fenway Park. Boston won the World Series last season and will hold its season opener Friday in front of an expected packed house.
It figures to be a good test for Estrada, a right-hander who will be opposed by Jake Peavy. The Brewers come in at 1-2 following a three-game home series against the Atlanta Braves.
“It's big for them, but for us, it's just another game,” Estrada told mlb.com. “I pitched last year against the Cubs for their Opening Day and I realize this is different because they're getting their rings, but it's only special for them. I'm not getting a ring. If I was, it would be the happiest day of my life, probably.
“For me, it's just another game. I'm just going to try to keep them from scoring.”
Estrada had a nice spring training, going 4-0 and looking to provide a boost in the middle of Milwaukee’s rotation. In his last spring training start against the Kansas City Royals on Saturday, Estrada pitched five scoreless innings and retired the last 10 batters he faced in Milwaukee’s 7-2 victory. He struck out four and scattered two hits. Estrada, 30, completed the spring by pitching 17 straight shutout innings and finished with a 2.25 ERA.
“It's a good feeling, a good way to go into the season,” Estrada told the Associated Press. “Now I just have to transfer that into the season and do it where it matters.”
Milwaukee Manager Ron Roenicke said Estrada, 0-1 lifetime against Boston, served notice throughout the spring.
“He's been outstanding,” Roenicke told the Associated Press. “Great command of his fastball. Change-up has been really good. His curveball has been good. His location has been outstanding.”
Estrada fared well on the road last season, finishing 5-2 with a 2.09 ERA. He went 2-2 with a 6.62 ERA at home.
In 115 appearances, including 53 starts, Estrada is 16-20 with a 4.17 ERA. He’s struck out 381 in 390 1/3 innings. Estrada began his professional career with the Washington Nationals in 2008 before joining Milwaukee in 2010.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .