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When the Yankees traded for Brandon McCarthy, they were doing so to make a marginal upgrade from Vidal Nuno. With the injuries to Tanaka and Sabathia, McCarthy has immediately become more than a marginal upgrade. He's one of the team's most important starters now and he turned in a helluva good start this afternoon in the second game of this weekend series against the Reds. Pitching well at Yankee Stadium hasn't been his calling card, but he had it working today. A persistent and balanced offensive effort supported his good work and got the Yanks within a game of a second half-opening sweep.
- Carlos Beltran got the scoring started in the bottom of the 2nd with a solo homer off Cincy starter Alfredo Simon. Simon had him 0-2, but hung a curveball and Beltran parked it in the right field seats.
- The Yanks doubled up the lead the next inning after Jay Bruce misplayed a Brian Roberts flyball into a 2-base error. He moved to third on a groundout and scored on a ribbie single by Brett Gardner.
- The one mistake McCarthy made came in the top of the 5th, when he missed with a cutter and Chris Heisey hit it for a solo home run. He worked around a double in the next at-bat to finish the inning and got through the 6th 1-2-3 with a pair of big strikeouts.
- Gardner drove in another run in the bottom of the 5th with a sac fly while Derek Jeter singled to make it 4-1 Yanks. A slew of singles in the 6th put 3 more on the board and gave the bullpen plenty of cushion.
- They used it well, working efficiently and not putting a lot of runners on to give the Reds late scoring chances. Adam Warren, Shawn Kelley, and Matt Thornton each pitched a scoreless frame.
- McCarthy: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 9 K. Got 5 outs on the ground. You'll take a high pitch count when it's coming with that many outs on the infield.
- Beltran: 2-4, 1 HR, 2 R, 1 RBI. Second straight game with a run batted in. Maybe that week plus off was exactly what he needed.
- Ichiro Suzuki: 0-4, 2 K, 2 LOB. The only guy in the 6-9 part of the order without a hit. But it's cool because the other 3 all had 2.
Series finale tomorrow afternoon and the sweep is in play. Hiroki Kuroda makes his first start of the second half against Cincinnati ace Johnny Cueto.