McCarthy gets first triumph with Yanks

MIKE FITZPATRICK AP Sports Writer Published:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Brandon McCarthy's wife had more trouble slogging through Yankee Stadium traffic than he did against the Cincinnati Reds.

McCarthy earned his first win for New York with an impressive debut in pinstripes, and Brett Gardner drove in three runs from the leadoff spot to send the Yankees past the Reds 7-1 on Saturday.

Told his wife, Amanda, tweeted several wisecracks about all the highway congestion that delayed her arrival at the ballpark, McCarthy could only smile.

"If everybody isn't apprised of what she's doing every few minutes, God knows what would happen," he said.

Carlos Beltran homered, Kelly Johnson hit a two-run single and the Yankees ended Alfredo Simon's six-game winning streak in the right-hander's first outing since the All-Star game.

Derek Jeter had an RBI single, and New York won the first two in a three-game interleague series, leaving Cincinnati with five straight road losses.

"I think this is kind of a blip in the radar, but we certainly need to turn things around if we want to get that game tomorrow," Reds manager Bryan Price said.

Acquired from Arizona in a July 6 trade, McCarthy (1-0) struck out nine and walked none over six innings in his second start for New York and first at home. He said the Yankees have encouraged him to throw his cutter, a pitch he was instructed to scrap with the Diamondbacks.

"He's got top-of-the-rotation stuff, and we're really glad to have him," catcher Brian McCann said. "He was doing whatever he wanted to on the mound today."

McCarthy threw 71 of 99 pitches for strikes, improving to 3-0 with a 1.78 ERA in his last four outings after winning only once in his initial 16 starts this season.

"Actually, that was the frustrating part about the beginning part of the season is, I felt sharp," McCarthy said. "I felt like everything was where I wanted it to be, I just wasn't doing everything I needed to to get the best out of it. So I felt like I've thrown better this year than any year in the past, it's just the results haven't followed."

The right-hander was 3-10 with a 4.80 ERA for Arizona before New York obtained him to upgrade a rotation depleted by injuries to four starters. His first outing for the Yankees was a no-decision July 9 at Cleveland.

"You realize that you're putting the pinstripes on for the first time, but I try and wash all that away as much as I can and just focus on execution, focus on my routine, what I'm doing. All that stuff I can think about later," McCarthy said.

"I mean, you're pitching for the Yankees, and that's an opportunity no matter what the circumstances are. For me, it's at a point in my career where I want to be challenged. I really want to be in a pennant race. I wanted to be closer to the playoffs. I wanted to be in a market that is difficult. I wanted that kind of stuff to see if I could push myself to the next level, so it's a great opportunity in that sense."

A converted reliever, the surprising Simon (12-4) is tied for the big league lead in wins -- but he was betrayed Saturday by a Reds defense that entered with the highest fielding percentage and fewest errors in the majors.

The right-hander allowed four runs -- two earned -- and five hits in five innings, the first time he failed to finish six innings since going 3 2-3 in a 6-3 loss at Dodger Stadium on May 27. He went 6-0 with a 2.47 ERA in his next eight starts.

Chris Heisey homered for the Reds, struggling to mount much offense this weekend without injured boppers Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips.

Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley and Matt Thornton finished for the Yankees, who struck out 13. It was the first time they whiffed that many without issuing a walk since July 7, 2006, at Tampa Bay.

Cincinnati has struck out 23 times and walked once in the first two games of the series.

"We've got to pick it up a little bit," Todd Frazier said. "That's not where we want to be."

CARDINALS 4, DODGERS 2

ST. LOUIS -- Matt Adams homered in a four-run first inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 4-2 Saturday to send All-Star Zack Greinke to losses in consecutive regular-season starts for the first time in nearly four years.

Joe Kelly (2-1) gave up four hits, struck out four and walked one in his second outing since a three-month stint on the disabled list caused by a strained left hamstring. He retired his last 13 batters as the Cardinals won for the eighth time in 10 games.

Kelly didn't get a decision on July 11, when he gave up six runs over three innings during the Cardinal's 7-6 win at Milwaukee.

Trevor Rosenthal, the Cardinals' third reliever, got his 30th save in 34 chances when Andre Either grounded into a game-ending double play.

Coming off a July 9 defeat at Detroit, Greinke (11-6) walked a season-high five and gave up four runs and six hits in 5 2-3 innings. He had not lost back-to-back starts in the regular season since Sept. 20 and 25, 2010, for Kansas City at Detroit and Cleveland, according to STATS.

Greinke did lose his regular-season finale against Colorado last year and was beaten by Atlanta in his first postseason start.

St. Louis is 21-10 at home against the Dodgers in the regular season since the start of the 2006. The Cardinals also beat Los Angeles in six games in last year's NL championship series.

Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday left the game in the fifth, four innings after he was shaken up while diving back into second base on a pickoff attempt. Dodgers All-Star outfielder Yasiel Puig left in the eighth, five innings after he was hit on the left hand by a Kelly pitch.

Matt Carpenter opened the Cardinals' first with a walk, and Kolten Wong reached on a slow roller when second baseman Dee Gordon threw wide of first, a play ruled a hit and an error that put runners on second and third,

Holliday followed with a two-run single and Adams hit his 12th homer on Greinke's 16th pitch of the game.

Los Angeles, which has lost five of eight, scored on Hanley Ramirez's RBI infield single in the third and Carl Crawford's sacrifice fly against Sam Freeman in the eighth.

BLUE JAYS 4, RANGERS 1

TORONTO -- Marcus Stroman bounced back from his worst start of the season with a strong effort to begin the second half.

The rookie right-hander pitched seven shutout innings to stop a three-start winless streak, Dan Johnson had two RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 4-1.

Melky Cabrera had three hits as the Blue Jays won for the first time in four games.Toronto had lost nine of 11 coming in.

Stroman (5-2) allowed four hits, all singles, walked none and struck out five, improving to 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA in six home starts.

"Since he's been here, he's been really good, especially for a young kid," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "He's a lot more polished than I thought he was going to be."

Stroman allowed a season-high five runs in 3 2-3 innings against the Angels on July 9, matching his shortest start this season, but rebounded against the struggling Rangers.

"I was excited to get back on the mound," Stroman said.

Stroman's most challenging inning was the fourth, which began with singles by Daniel Robertson and Adrian Beltre. Unfazed, Stroman struck out Jake Smolinski and Leonys Martin, then got J.P. Arencibia to ground into a forceout.

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