McCarthy building faith with each start

McCarthy building faith with each start

ARLINGTON -- The Rangers' confidence in right-hander Brandon McCarthy is growing with each start. So much so that McCarthy, not Kevin Millwood, might start Sunday's finale of a crucial three-game series against the Angels.

McCarthy, who will start on Tuesday against Oakland, wasn't all that impressed when told that manager Ron Washington said he was willing to start him at home against the Angels.

McCarthy can build use momentum when he takes the mound at pitcher-friendly Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum, considering he's allowed 13 home runs in 76 1/3 innings this season.

"I would they hope have confidence to throw me in all ballparks," McCarthy said. "I'm throwing my sinker more and keeping the ball down."

McCarthy, who is 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts since coming off a three-month stint on the disabled list, has earned the Rangers' trust.

"Right now, we feel McCarthy can pitch anywhere," Washington said. "If his stuff stays the way it is, it doesn't matter who the opponent is. He's got his depth back in his breaking ball, his changeup is back, he's controlling his fastball.

"When you can do those type of things, it doesn't matter."

Washington said the Rangers realize McCarthy will give up some long balls. But it hasn't impacted him this season in Arlington. McCarthy is 4-0 with a 3.31 ERA in six starts at Rangers Ballpark.

"He's gonna give up some bombs now and then," Washington said. "Hopefully when he does, they stay solos and they don't hurt."

McCarthy said he can't worry about limiting home runs when he goes out to the mound.

"If I ever go out there with that mindset, they can just go ahead and take the ball from me," McCarthy said.

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Brandon McCarthy (7-2, 4.81 ERA)
McCarthy is 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA in two starts since coming off the disabled list. He missed three months with a stress fracture in his right shoulder blade. In 12 2/3 innings since he returned with new mechanics, he has allowed eight hits, four walks and six strikeouts. He is 7-4 with a 4.00 ERA in 20 starts over the past three years at home and is 1-3 with an 8.15 ERA in six career games (four starts) against the A's -- his highest ERA against any opponent.

OAK: RHP Edgar Gonzalez (0-2, 4.92 ERA)
Gonzalez, who has pitched in long relief for most of the season, is now part of a six-man rotation designed to reduce the workload of Oakland's young staff. Formerly a swing man for the D-backs, Gonzalez has been slightly more effective as a starter with the A's, posting a 4.20 ERA in three nods, but he rarely gets deep into games, as he's worked 15 innings on those starts. Gonzalez has faced the Rangers once this season, as a starter, and allowed five runs on eight hits and three walks over five innings.

Tidbits
Injured third baseman Michael Young said on Monday that he had a good workouts running on the indoor ramp behind the Rangers' dugout and that he should have a target date on when he'll return from his left hamstring injury in the next day or two. "It's getting better," Young said. He said that the Rangers not being able to take batting practice outside since Friday hasn't impacted his ability to speed up his return. ... The Rangers released their fall instructional league roster and included on the list are Jurickson Profar and Luis Sardinas, two 16-year-old infielders who received $1.5 million signing bonuses this summer. Also on the roster is 2007 first-round pick Michael Main and 18-year-old fellow pitcher Martin Perez. ... Shortstop Elvis Andrus extended his hitting streak to 16 games on Monday, setting the mark for longest streak by a Rangers rookie. ... Outfielder Josh Hamilton did not throw or play catch on Monday.

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Up next
• Wednesday: Rangers (Dustin Nippert, 5-2, 3.95) vs. Athletics (Clay Mortensen, 1-2, 6.75), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Off-day
• Friday: Rangers (Kevin Millwood, 10-10, 3.94) vs. Angels (Scott Kazmir, 8-8, 5.32), 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.