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McCarthy sharp as Diamondbacks top Reds

Arizona Diamondbacks starter Brandon McCarthy made a strong second spring appearance. After giving up a solo home run to the second batter of the game — shortstop Zack Cozart — McCarthy retired the final eight batters he faced, including striking out five in a row at one point. He finished his three innings of work with the one run allowed on three hits. He did not issue a walk and has not in either of his two outings. McCarthy is sporting a 3.60 ERA (2 ER in 5 IP) with nine strikeouts.

Offensively, Aaron Hill’s pinch-hit single in the fifth scored the go-ahead run in the Diamondbacks’ 3-1 win over the Cincinnati Reds at Salt River Fields.

The Diamondbacks’ first three hitters — Adam Eaton, Chad Pennington and Eric Chavez — combined to go 3-for-7. Eaton has hit safely in seven of nine games (10-for-29, .345), Chavez in four of six games (5-for-12, .416) and Pennington has reached base safely in all eight games he’s played.

Chris Owings added a solo home run in the seventh, part of a four-run inning.


“It was a good locker room talk,” manager Kirk Gibson said of the exchange he and Reds manager Dusty Baker had prior to the game at home plate regarding the designated hitter. “I wanted to play a National League game. (We) notified them several times. They just wanted to do it their way and they couldn’t do it. We play by the rules here. That’s the way it is. When we’re over there, we play by their rules. It’s very simple.”


The Diamondbacks (5-5-1) will take a break from Cactus League competition and play Team Mexico in an exhibition game under the lights at Salt River Fields Tuesday, March 5. Ian Kennedy, Tyler Skaggs, Charles Brewer, JJ Putz, Bo Schultz and Brad Ziegler are all scheduled to pitch. Putz will be making his first in-game appearance on the mound of the spring.