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Arizona Diamondbacks

Updated Feb 27, 2013 - 5:32 pm

McCarthy's start a positive in a D-backs' loss

Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy throws to the Cincinnati Reds during the second inning of an exhibition spring training baseball game, Wednesday, Feb. 27, 2013, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

The Cincinnati Reds exploded for 13 runs in their last four at-bats in a 14-6 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks at Salt River Fields at Talking Stick Wednesday.

But the D-backs' loss was overshadowed by the impressive start made by right-hander Brandon McCarthy. The 29-year-old made his return to the mound after getting hit in the back of the head by a line drive last September when he was with Oakland.

McCarthy suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture that required two hours of surgery to relieve pressure.

Wednesday against the Reds, McCarthy threw two solid innings, giving up one earned run, three hits and recording four strikeouts.

Starting catcher Miguel Montero didn't waste any time giving praise to McCarthy and his stuff.

"Everything was working. His fastball command was really good, his breaking ball was really good. Everything was really good," Montero said.

Up next: The D-backs hit the road Thursday to face the Reds again in Goodyear. The game gets underway at 1:05 p.m. Arizona ace Ian Kennedy will make the start. Tyler Skaggs, Eric Smith, Eury De la Rosa, Joe Paterson and Charles Brewer are also expected to pitch.

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