McCarthy tames Tigers

The following are updates on area Major League Baseball players.

Brandon McCarthy (Glendale native) starting pitcher, Oakland Athletics: While the Athletics have been eliminated from playoff contention, it hasn't deterred McCarthy from continuing to excel on the mound. The right-hander has gotten stronger during his first season with the Athletics and might get in two more starts before the season concludes Sept. 27.

In his latest outing Thursday against the red-hot Detroit Tigers, McCarthy proved to be at his best.

McCarthy struck out eight and walked two in Oakland's 6-1 home win against Detroit. McCarthy allowed one run on five hits, improving to 3-2 with a 2.15 earned-run average through his last five appearances.

The victory snapped Detroit's season-best 12-game winning streak and temporarily delayed it clinching the American League's Central Division championship. The Tigers wrapped up their first division title since 1987 on Friday against the Athletics.

"As a team, you never want to see people celebrating on your home field," McCarthy told the Associated Press after going seven innings. "For us, it's just getting wins and playing well. If we happen to spoil guys on the way there, that's great."

Since July 26, McCarthy is 7-3 in his last 10 starts. He also rebounded well from his previous outing in which he allowed four runs (three earned) and six hits in six innings in Oakland's 14-3 road loss against the Texas Rangers on Sept. 9.

McCarthy will get another start today against the Rangers, who he pitched parts of four seasons with before moving to Oakland, at home tonight.

Entering today's game, McCarthy is 9-8 with a 3.35 ERA. He has struck out 116 and walked 25 in 155 2/3 innings.

Through Tuesday, the Athletics were 69-84 and in third place in the AL West Division.

Marco Estrada (Glendale Community College, 2003) pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers: Estrada and the Brewers are on the verge of clinching the National League's Central Division. Estrada has shown his versatility throughout the season as a starter and reliever. After making three starts in a row in August, Estrada has since been shifted back to the bullpen, where he has made six straight relief appearances.

Estrada's latest outing didn't go so well, as he allowed a two-run home run in the sixth inning to Geovany Soto of the Chicago Cubs in a 5-2 road loss Monday. He struck out four and walked one in two innings.

Estrada previously pitched Sept. 14 in Milwaukee's 6-2 defeat against the visiting Colorado Rockies. He struck out two, walked one and yielded one hit in one inning.

Through Monday, Estrada is 4-8 with a 4.22 earned-run average. In 89 2/3 innings, Estrada has struck out 83 and allowed 45 runs (42 earned). He's also yielded 29 walks.

Entering today's game against the Cubs, the Brewers are 91-64.

Doug Slaten (Glendale Community College, 1999) relief pitcher, Washington Nationals: Slaten, a left-handed specialist who missed several months because of an elbow injury, pitched in the first game of a doubleheader against the host Philadelphia Phillies on Tuesday.

The appearance was brief. Brought in by Washington manager Davey Johnson to protect a 3-0 lead in the seventh inning, Slaten immediately allowed two singles before being pulled in favor of Tyler Clippard. Clippard served up a three-run home run to Raul Ibanez to knot the game at 3 with Slaten being charged for the first two runs.

Washington won the game, 4-3, in 10 innings. The Nationals also posted a 3-0 victory in the second contest.

Entering today's game against Philadelphia, Slaten is 0-1 with a 4.20 earned-run average. He's struck out 11 and walked nine in 15 innings.

The Nationals are 74-79 and in third place in the National League's East Division.

Trevor Bell (Crescenta Valley High, 2005) relief pitcher, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: The former All-Area Player of the Year hasn't pitched since Friday, when he pitched a scoreless inning in the Angels' 8-3 road loss against the Baltimore Orioles. The right-hander made 14 pitches, eight for strikes.

Bell is 1-1 with a 3.16 earned-run average in 18 appearances. He has struck out 16 and walked 10 in 31 1/3 innings.

The Angels are 84-70 and in second place in the American League's West Division entering today's road contest against the Toronto Blue Jays.

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