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Arizona Diamondbacks’ Brandon McCarthy sets tone in Cactus League opener

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. – Typically a starting pitcher will throw one or two innings in his first spring training appearance.

Not Brandon McCarthy. At least not this year.

The Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander completed four innings of work before calling it a day against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Cactus League opener on Wednesday.

“Yeah, I’ve broken camp at four innings before, I think,” he said. “It was more than normal, but we’ve been building to it the last few weeks and so it wasn’t as shocking as it sounded originally.”

McCarthy allowed one run on four hits. He walked one and struck out two to pick up the win, 4-1 at Salt River Fields.

“It was good,” he said. “It was good to get a feel for where you’re at now. That’s always the first thing you’re most nervous about is, ‘Have I done enough? Am I where I want to be? And get those competitive juices going again and kind of get the nerves out of the way, so it was good in that regard.”

Catcher Miguel Montero came away impressed.

“He was pitching. He wasn’t really concentrating on nothing. He was trying to get outs, and he was pitching and all of his pitches were working pretty good today,” Montero said.

Manager Kirk Gibson liked what he saw as well.

“He kind of set the tone for us. Let us play defense behind him. He threw the ball really good. It was a positive day for him,” Gibson said.

McCarthy worked around a two-out single in the first and a one-out single in the second before giving up the one run in the third on back-to-back hits, including a run-scoring double by right fielder Yasiel Puig, who went 2-for-3.

McCarthy otherwise looked strong, not wasting any pitches. He induced an inning-ending double play out of second baseman Tim Federowicz to end the fourth.

“I mean that’s always the plan is as quick as I can get them the better,” McCarthy said. “I don’t have the stuff to get deep into counts with guys. I don’t have the plus stuff to get you to swing and miss. I need you to swing at something moving early, get yourself out and get the next guy in the box and get moving.”

McCarthy, beginning his second season with the Diamondbacks, threw 52 pitches, 37 for strikes.

“I could’ve given up no runs,” he said smiling. “There are a few things here and there you’d like to tighten up, but overall it went well for a first time out.”