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SD@ARI: McCarthy's strong start earns second win

Welcome back, Brandon McCarthy.

The D-backs right-hander will return to the mound Sunday for the first time since landing on the disabled list as he starts the D-backs' series finale against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

The 30-year-old McCarthy has been on the DL since June 1 with right shoulder inflammation. He threw 85 pitches over six innings in his final rehab outing at Triple-A Reno and deemed himself fit.

"It was good, honestly, everything was there," McCarthy said earlier this week. "I felt comfortable and I was able to get back into mental game shape. Nothing bothered me. I was able to get into the sixth and felt strong. I felt like I had more in the tank, too, so that was encouraging. In terms of pitching, I feel like I'm where I need to be."

McCarthy, making his latest return after a handful of shoulder injuries in his career, has a 4.94 ERA in six career starts against the Red Sox, but is 2-0 with a 2.08 mark in his last two outings against Boston.

The D-backs -- 6-7 in their last 13 games -- face one of Boston's most consistent pitchers in the rubber game of the three-games series.

Boston starters have been a bit shaky lately, with Ryan Dempster and Jon Lester combining to give up 13 runs in the two games before Jake Peavy's solid debut (two runs in seven-plus innings) on Saturday. Peavy's outing was more in line with what Sunday starter Felix Doubront has brought to the mound, as the 25-year-old has gone 14 straight outings without giving up more than three earned runs.

To make room for McCarthy on the 25-man roster, the D-backs designated left-handed reliever Tony Sipp for assignment Sunday morning.

D-backs: Putz blanking Red Sox
Reliever J.J. Putz has held the Red Sox scoreless in 13 straight meetings, spanning 13 2/3 innings, since Aug. 26, 2006. He is 2-0 with five saves, a .095 batting average against and 14 strikeouts in that span.

• Cliff Pennington and Didi Gregorius have combined at shortstop to hit safely in 10 of their last 14 games, batting .327.

• Second baseman Aaron Hill is hitting .483 with four doubles and three homers in his last seven Interleague games.

Red Sox: The Jacoby story
Center fielder Jacob Ellsbury enters Sunday's finale riding a nine-game hitting streak, (.317) and he's been especially hot during Interleague Play. Ellsbury has hit safely in all 11 of Boston's Interleague games this season (.458) and in his last 14 overall (.459).

He stole a base in Saturday's win to reach his third 40-steal campaign.

• Designated hitter David Ortiz (seven games, .300) and Jarrod Saltalamacchia (six, .333) also enter Sunday with active hitting streaks.

Worth noting
• The Red Sox have a Major League-high 22 series wins, including taking all but two of their last 12 at home.

• Arizona's Martin Prado is hitting .345 since the All-Star break. Comments