Estrada has solid outing in win

The following are updates on area Major League Baseball players.

Marco Estrada (Glendale Community College, 2003) pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers: Estrada showed just how versatile he can be while performing for the first-place Brewers of the National League's Central Division. On Saturday, Estrada gave the Brewers exactly what they needed as a starter after spending most of the season coming out of the bullpen.

Making a spot-start Saturday, Estrada more than held his own. Estrada surrendered one hit in five innings and three relievers backed him up in Milwaukee's 1-0 home victory against the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Estrada improved to 3-7 and took the mound in place of Chris Narveson, who was placed on the disabled list Wednesday with a hand injury.

"I was trying to give the guys at least six, seven innings," Estrada told the Associated Press. "Fortunately, it was only five, but you know [it] kept us in the game. That's all that matters.

"The bullpen came in and did an outstanding job. We got a win. That's what matters."

Takashi Saito, LaTroy Hawkins, Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford followed Estrada to preserve the victory. In his fifth start of the season, Estrada faced 16 batters and threw 44 of his 64 pitches for strikes.

Estrada's other win as a starter came April 6, the same day his contract was selected from the Triple-A Nashville Sounds. He beat the Atlanta Braves in that appearance, allowing four runs on eight hits and striking out four in six innings.

Estrada has made 33 appearances for the Brewers, who entered Monday night's home game against the L.A. Dodgers at 70-51. In 70 2/3 innings, Estrada sports a 4.46 earned-run average. He's struck out 66 and walked 23.

Brandon McCarthy (Glendale native) starting pitcher, Oakland Athletics: McCarthy has had mixed results in his last two appearances.

He struggled in his last start Friday against the visiting Texas Rangers, which included getting hit in the knee by a batted ball and subsequently being removed from the game after allowing seven runs (five earned) and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings in a 9-1 defeat.

McCarthy was knocked out of the game when he was struck by an Endy Chavez line drive in the fourth inning and was diagnosed with a bruised right knee. The ball struck off the outside of his right knee and ricocheted down the right-field line.

"I don't know what it feels like to have a knee blown apart or to do something serious to it, but it didn't feel like anything too horrible," McCarthy told the Associated Press. "It wasn't even the first thing I noticed. When I tried to stand up, I noticed it. I was in pain but I knew it wasn't too horribly serious.

"I'm not really thrilled with the whole day, but all things considered, it's not as bad as it could be."

In McCarthy's previous start against the host Tampa Bay Rays on Aug. 6, he turned in his best effort of the season. He went eight innings, scattering five hits and striking out five, in an 8-0 win.

"He was terrific," Oakland Manager Bob Melvin told the Associated Press. "He's been as consistent a guy as we've had."

Through Friday, McCarthy was 5-6 with a 3.62 ERA. He's struck out 74 and walked 16 in 112 innings.

Oakland entered Monday night's home game against the visiting Baltimore Orioles at 53-67 for third place in the American League's West Division.

Doug Slaten (Glendale Community College, 1999) relief pitcher, Washington Nationals: Slaten remains on the disabled list with a left-elbow injury. Slaten hasn't pitched since June 3, though he began a throwing program in Viera, Fla., in late July.

Washington Manager Davey Johnson said Slaten probably should pitch again this season, though it wasn't clear when he would return.

Slaten is 0-1 with a 2.19 ERA. He's struck out eight and walked eight in 12 1/3 innings and was placed on the disabled list June 4.

The Nationals, who begin a three-game home series today against the Cincinnati Reds, are 57-62 and in fourth place in the National League's East Division.

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