McCarthy eyes first win; D-backs eye fourth straight
The Diamondbacks' Brandon McCarthy once again couldn't avoid a big inning when he faced the Rockies last weekend.
When he takes the mound against them Friday night, the right-hander will again seek his first win as he tries to help lead the Diamondbacks to a season-high-tying fourth straight victory.
McCarthy (0-2, 7.06 ERA) has allowed 15 of his 19 runs in just four of his 21 2/3 innings, and he yielded three in the third frame in his first career start against Colorado on Sunday. The Diamondbacks went on to win 5-4, snapping the Rockies' win streak at eight games.
"There's only so much you can do with bad-contact balls blooping in. Once it leaves my hand, I can't control it. The innings are mostly falling like that," he told the team's website. "Most of the innings where I've given up runs, it's just pitches that are finding holes."
This time, McCarthy will face a team that's dropped four of five. In Thursday's series opener at Chase Field, the Rockies (14-8) went 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position in a 3-2 defeat.
Paul Goldschmidt hit a key two-run homer in the fourth inning, his second in the past three games for the D-backs (13-9).
"We were able to scrape across a couple of runs. The pitching has been doing so well lately. They've been keeping us in a lot of games," he said. "It's a good win. We'll come out (Friday) and see if we can do it again."
McCarthy will once again pitch opposite Juan Nicasio (2-0, 5.31), who lasted a season-low 4 1/3 innings Sunday. He gave up two runs, three hits and three walks but used up 96 pitches.
Nicasio has failed to make it through the sixth inning in any of his last three outings. He also hasn't been efficient enough to make it through five innings in any of his three career starts against the D-backs. Nicasio has no record and a 6.94 ERA in those outings, which have all been in Denver.
"I need more command of my fastball," he said. "I've thrown like 90 pitches in the last three games and only gone five innings. I've got to go deeper in the game."
Didi Gregorius is expected to get the chance to face Nicasio again in his first home game at Chase Field after getting a scheduled day off in the opener. The shortstop, batting .400 (10 for 25) in his first six games, hit a solo homer off the right-hander in Sunday's victory.
"It's always exciting to play at home," Gregorius said. "I'm looking forward to getting my first chance."
Gerardo Parra, seeking a career-best 11-game hitting streak, has one double in his six at-bats against Nicasio. Cody Ross has two doubles and two RBIs in five at-bats, and Goldschmidt is 2 for 4 with two RBIs.
Troy Tulowitzki was 2 for 3 with a solo homer in his first matchup with McCarthy, while Yorvit Torrealba is 3 for 5 against him in his career.