Reds rout DiamondbacksPublished 1:48am Thursday, February 28, 2013
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona’s Brandon McCarthy methodically struck out four in two innings in his first game since a horrific head injury, an impressive return that overshadowed all else in the Diamondbacks’ 14-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday.
McCarthy, signed by the Diamondbacks as a free agent, gave up one run on three hits. He had not taken the mound in a game since Sept. 5 when he was struck in the head by a line drive off the bat of the Angels’ Erick Aybar while pitching for Oakland. McCarthy sustained an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture.
Reds ace Johnny Cueto, in his first start since he was injured early in last year’s playoffs, went two innings, allowing four runs, two earned, on five hits with a strikeout and a walk.
Cueto, ordered by the Reds not to participate for the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic that begins next week, made his first game appearance since he went down with a strained right oblique eight pitches into last season’s NL division series against San Francisco.
He brushed aside the results and said he was just glad to be back on the mound and feeling good.
“That is just what I wanted to do, get out there and pitch to hitters,” Cueto said. “I threw about 40 pitches. I didn’t feel my oblique. I felt nothing in it. I gave up some hits but I was able to throw what I wanted to, thank God.”
The first of Aaron Hill’s two doubles drove in two runs off Cueto after three-time Gold Glove second baseman Brandon Phillips bobbled a double-play grounder in the opening inning.
A Reds lineup of mostly minor leaguers outscored its Arizona counterpart 13-2 over the last four innings.
Because Cueto finished the season injured, the Reds had the right to block his participation in the World Classic.