The last time Texas right-hander Brandon McCarthy faced Baltimore, it was his final start for 11 months.
The oft-injured Ranger is hoping Tuesday night’s start against the Orioles at Rangers Ballpark will be the spark he and his teammates need after dropping four straight following a 3-0 start.
McCarthy (1-0, 5.40 ERA) looks for his second victory of the season after giving up three runs and four hits over five innings in Thursday’s 12-8 victory over Cleveland. McCarthy, though, also walked four and gave up two home runs in his season debut.
“A hundred pitches over five innings is a lot different than 100 over seven,” he said following his 105-pitch effort against the Indians.
He makes his first start against the Orioles since Sept. 20, 2007, when he allowed five hits in four scoreless innings as the Rangers lost 6-3 in 10 innings. After that 67-pitch outing, McCarthy did not make an appearance until Aug. 23, 2008, while recovering from inflammation in his right forearm.
Acquired from the Chicago White Sox following the 2006 season, McCarthy pitched just 27 games the past two seasons due to an array of hand, arm and shoulder injuries.
“It sucks that’s a part of my past, but I was fortunate not to have any surgeries,” he told the Rangers’ official Web site during the exhibition season. “I’m back healthy now, it’s in the past.”
On Tuesday, McCarthy—0-1 with a 3.75 ERA lifetime against the Orioles— looks to slow down a Baltimore club averaging 6.1 runs and 10.3 hits in its first seven games. The Orioles tagged Rangers pitchers for 16 hits in Monday night’s 10-9 win in the opener of the three-game set.
“We played very unselfish baseball at the plate,” said Orioles manager Dave Trembley.
“I just came in here and relaxed,” Huff said. “I finally got some pitches to hit tonight.”
Huff is 5-for-9 with a home run and three RBIs lifetime against McCarthy.
The Orioles (5-2) send Alfredo Simon (0-1, 7.20 ERA) to the mound Tuesday for his second start of the season. In his second career start on Thursday, the 27-year-old right-hander allowed four hits and four runs over five innings in an 11-2 loss to the New York Yankees.
Simon held the Yankees scoreless for three innings before giving up two home runs in a three-run fourth. Trembly pulled Simon after he gave up a leadoff single to open the sixth.
“I thought Simon was teetering,” Trembley said. “He was basically a one-pitch guy, and after they hit the ball out of the ballpark a couple times against him, I didn’t want to see them get some multiple hits against him right there because he left on a decent note.”
Tuesday will be Simon’s first career appearance against Texas, which is averaging 9.5 runs and 12.0 hits while winning three of four at home.