Brandon McCarthy (Glendale native) Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher: It seems as though McCarthy can’t catch a break on the mound lately. In four of his last five appearances, McCarthy has gone at least six innings, providing the Diamondbacks with a chance to win each game. However, during that stretch, which began April 27, he’s 1-2.
Chicago White Sox, Texas Rangers and Oakland Athletics, turned in another quality performance Wednesday against the host St. Louis Cardinals. Though he didn’t factor into the decision, McCarthy went six innings and allowed one run on seven hits and struck out three in Arizona’s 3-2 defeat in 12 innings.
In McCarthy’s previous start against the visiting Washington Nationals on May 14, he limited the Nationals to one run and two hits in eight innings. He left after eight innings with the score tied at 1 before the Nationals scored four runs in the ninth to post a 5-1 victory.
McCarthy, 30, seemed encouraged with his effort.
“Some of the changes I wanted to make [from the previous start] I felt I was able to execute and do a better job and make it a high priority,” McCarthy, who had a fifth-inning single, told the Associated Press. “The results kind of followed after that.”
McCarthy picked up his first victory May 3 against the San Diego Padres on the road. He struck out six and allowed three hits in seven innings in a 4-3 win.
McCarthy’s effort drew the praise of Arizona Manager Kirk Gibson.
“The story of the night was McCarthy's performance,” Gibson told the Associated Press. “He's got his mechanics together. He's able to repeat his delivery.”
McCarthy, who struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 27 in a 2-0 defeat, is 1-6 with a 4.67 earned-run average in 10 starts. The Diamondbacks (18-31) are in last place in the National League’s West Division. Arizona will begin a three-game road series against the New York Mets on Friday.
Marco Estrada (Glendale Community College, 2003) Milwaukee Brewers pitcher: While the Brewers have been one of the top teams in the league throughout the first two months of the season, Estrada struggled in his last appearance Sunday against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
The versatile Estrada, a former All-Western State Conference honoree with the Vaqueros, has been prone to yielding home runs. In nine appearances, the right-hander has allowed 12 home runs, second-most in the league. Estrada (3-2) allowed seven extra-base hits, including a pair of home runs, in Milwaukee’s 4-2 defeat against Chicago. Estrada allowed four runs (all earned) and struck out four in five innings.
“I was terrible, plain and simple. Terrible,” Estrada, who yielded five doubles, told the Associated Press. “I've got to figure things out. My off-speed pitches haven't been there and that's what's letting me down, that and elevating the fastball when I'm not trying to.”
Estrada was better in his previous start May 13 against the visiting Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed one run on six hits and struck out eight over six innings to pick up the win. Milwaukee posted a 5-2 victory.
Estrada will look for more consistency Friday, when he’s scheduled to start against the host Miami Marlins. He has a 3.64 earned-run average and has struck out 50 in 54 1/3 innings.
The Brewers (28-20) are in first place in the National League’s Central Division after finishing fourth in 2013.
Follow Charles Rich on Twitter: @TCNCharlesRich .