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Grit Index: McCarthy rocked early, D-backs fall in Texas

Brandon McCarthy got to Arlington, Texas pitching as well as he had in a long time.

Over his last three starts, the 6-foot-7 right-hander was 2-0 with a minuscule ERA of 0.38.

The guys in the Texas Rangers uniforms weren’t impressed. McCarthy (2-4) got tagged for six runs and nine hits in just 2.2 innings of work and the Rangers won easily 9-5.

Texas got on the board in the second against McCarthy when A.J. Pierzynski doubled to left field knocking in Nelson Cruz. Two batters later, Leonys Martin singled in Pierzynski to make it 2-0. The Rangers were just getting started.

Texas tacked on four runs in the third inning, highlighted by a two-run home run by Mitch Moreland that bounced off the right field foul pole.

The Rangers got a single run in the fourth on a solo home run by David Murphy and two in the fifth on an RBI single by Elvis Andrus.

The Diamondbacks staged somewhat of a late rally, scoring three runs in the sixth inning on run scoring singles by Martin Prado and Miguel Montero and an RBI groundout by Jason Kubel. Arizona added two in the seventh on base hits by Paul Goldschmidt and Prado.

The Good

• Goldschmidt had four hits on the day, his third four-hit day of the season. The D-backs first baseman also had four hits in wins over the Los Angeles Dodgers (May 6) and Miami Marlins (May 17). Goldschmidt raised his season batting average to .337.

The Bad

• Eric Chavez, who got the start at third base, didn’t last long in Thursday’s contest. In the top of the first inning, Chavez fouled off an 0-1 curveball from Texas starter Justin Grimm. Without hesitation, Chavez took his bat and walked slowly to the Arizona dugout and into the clubhouse. He was replaced by Cliff Pennington. Word after the game indicated Chavez strained an oblique muscle on the swing.

• McCarthy’s outing was his shortest of the season. The last time the veteran failed to get out of the third inning in a start was September 15, 2008. McCarthy, then pitching for the Rangers, left in the first inning with a strained flexor tendon in his right middle finger.

What’s Next

The D-backs move on to Chicago for a three-game series with the Cubs at Wrigley Field beginning Friday. Lefty Wade Miley (3-4, 4.53 ERA) takes the mound against Cubs’ right-hander Matt Garza (0-0, 4.00 ERA) in the opener. The game gets underway at 11:20 a.m. and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620.