Despite hard luck, McCarthy rolling

GLENDALE — The following are updates on area Major League Baseball players.

Brandon McCarthy (Glendale native) starting pitcher, Oakland Athletics: McCarthy continues to justify being handed a rotation spot by the Athletics in spring training with a strong start to the year, his first in Oakland.

He has two quality starts in three appearances and has yet to take a loss, although his last outing was spoiled by a lack of support from the Athletics' bullpen.

McCarthy saw a potential win go up in smoke on Friday when he pitched 6 2/3 scoreless innings against the Detroit Tigers at home and left the game with a 1-0 lead after having allowed six hits and striking out seven to just one walk.

The Tigers tied the game at 1 in the top of the ninth on a Miguel Cabrera home run off closer Brian Fuentes, whose meltdown continued in the top of the 10th, where he gave up six runs to allow the Tigers to win the game, 8-4.

McCarthy, who also recorded a no-decision in his season debut on April 5, was coming off a strong outing on April 10 against the host Minnesota Twins, where he went 7 1/3 innings, allowing two runs and striking out five to no walks to pick up his lone win of the campaign in a 5-3 affair.

On the season, McCarthy sports a tidy 2.45 earned-run average and 1.14 WHIP with a sterling K:BB ratio of 14:2.

His next start figures to come on Thursday, when Oakland, which was 6-8 as of Saturday for third place in the American League West Division, faces the host Seattle Mariners at 7:10 PDT.

Freddy Sanchez (Glendale Community College, 1998) second baseman, San Francisco Giants: After a tepid 1-4 start to the season, the defending World Series champions have begun to heat up, winning three in a row and six of their last eight heading into Saturday's game at the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Sanchez has been solid lately, as well, recording multiple hits in two of those games, including a two for five effort Friday night at Arizona in a 5-2 win.

Sanchez singled in the first inning and was on base for Pablo Sandoval's three-run blast that gave San Francisco an early lead it would never relinquish. He also singled with one out in the seventh before being erased on a fielder's choice.

As of Saturday, Sanchez is batting .292 on the year with a home run, four runs batted in and eight runs scored.

After concluding their series with the Diamondbacks on Sunday, the Giants, who were 7-6 for second place in the National League West Division as of Saturday, will begin a three-game set with the division-leading Colorado Rockies on Monday.

Doug Slaten (Glendale Community College, 1999) relief pitcher, Washington Nationals: While his usage has been somewhat limited, Slaten has been effective out of the bullpen so far for the Nationals.

His ERA remains a spotless 0.00, as he has not surrendered a run in eight appearances. But those eight appearances have added up to just 3 1/3 innings, as Slaten failed to retire a batter in either of his first two outings and has come on to face just one batter on four occasions.

Slaten struck out the only batter he faced in his last appearance on Thursday. Washington is 6-7 for third place in the National League East Division.

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