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McCarthy takes tweaks into second start

McCarthy tweaks mechanics

ARLINGTON -- Brandon McCarthy did something in the last five days he didn't get to do much of last year -- work on a specific pitch to prepare for his next start.

McCarthy said he used the days in between his first start this season against Cleveland, his seventh win as a Ranger, to work on his fastball, a pitch he said he was erratic for him against the Indians.

"I was trying to get some things worked out mechanically," McCarthy said. "I'm not really worried about it."

McCarthy said there was nothing specific he worked on with new pitching coach Mike Maddux, just some basic tinkering as he prepared to start Tuesday against Baltimore.

McCarthy used his slider to get him through five innings last Wednesday. His inability to harness his fastball led to him allowing nine baserunners and two home runs in five innings against the Indians.

McCarthy made only five starts last year because of right elbow and finger injuries. He was the key piece in the Dec. 2007 trade that sent top prospect John Danks to the Chicago White Sox.

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Brandon McCarthy (1-0, 5.40 ERA)
McCarthy is pitching again, that's the big thing. He wasn't at his sharpest in his season-opening start Thursday against Cleveland, but he did get the win, allowing three runs in five innings. He threw 105 pitches, a big improvement over his most last start, Sept. 15, 2008, against Detroit. His slider got him through a tough-hitting Indians lineup. His fastball will have to better against the Orioles.

McCarthy had seven strikeouts against Cleveland -- he credited his slider -- but he had four walks and a hit batter.

BAL: RHP Alfredo Simon (0-1, 7.20 ERA)
Simon pitched three shutout innings in his season debut, but allowed a pair of home runs in the fourth that turned the game around.

The right-hander mostly used his fastball in that game after his off-speed pitches deserted him. Manager Dave Trembley said that Simon can get by with his fastball, but only when he's able to keep it down in the strike zone. Simon will be tested against the Rangers in one of the league's toughest offensive environments.

Tidbits
Right-hander Willie Eyre was scheduled to pitch two innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City on Monday. He could be a bullpen option as early as Wednesday. ... Right-hander Dustin Nippert will come back to Arlington on Tuesday to get a progress report from team doctors and trainers on his back injury. He has reported no pain, but told the Rangers that he didn't feel 100 percent.

Tickets
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On the Internet
 MLB.TV
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• FSSW HD

On radio
• 105.3 The Fan, KFLC 1270 (Español)

Up next
• Wednesday: Rangers (Kris Benson, 0-1, 12.60) vs. Orioles (Mark Hendrickson, 1-0, 1.69), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Off-day
• Friday: Rangers (Matt Harrison, 0-1, 6.35) vs. Royals (Gil Meche, 0-0, 3.21), 7:05 p.m. CT

Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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