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Local MLB players take good with bad

Estrada dazzles through six innings, while McCarthy returns to DL, Slaten escapes bases-loaded jam.

June 28, 2012|By Andrew Shortall, andrew.shortall@latimes.com
(Courtesy of Scott…)

The following are updates on area Major League Baseball players.

Marco Estrada (Glendale Community College, 2003) starting pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers: Just in case anyone is wondering, Estrada feels just fine.

The Glendale Community College product struck out a career-high 12 batters through six innings against the Cincinnati Reds Tuesday in his return from a month-long trip to the disabled list. It matched a season-high for the Brewers this season, as Zach Greinke also struck out 12 Chicago Cubs on June 6.

Estrada, who was placed on the DL May 24 after he strained his right quadriceps rounding first base after he hit a two-out double against the San Francisco Giants, was able to keep the Cincinnati batters guessing with good command and velocity on his curve and fastball.

"I was locating the fastball, that's what it was, and I was able to go off of that," Estrada told MLB.com after the game. "I don't think they were expecting fastballs when I was ahead. I'm pretty sure they were sitting off-speed, and I was able to throw a 90-mph fastball by a lot of guys."

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All the strikeouts fell by the wayside in the bottom of the sixth when Joey Votto and Brandon Phillips got on base with a double and single, respectively, and scored on a three-run home run from Jay Bruce.

"It was a good pitch to hit," Estrada said of the hanger to Bruce. "It was a bad curveball. I really think if I would have got it where I wanted to, I could have had a ground ball and got myself out of that inning."

Estrada was saved from the loss when the Brewers scored three runs in the eighth, but Drew Stubbs delivered the Reds victory, 4-3, with a solo shot off a struggling John Axford in the eighth inning.

Brewers Manager Ron Roenicke lauded the outing, even though Estrada (0-3) remains winless on the season.

"Really good," Roenicke said of Estrada's performance. "Good command, great change of speeds. Threw some great curveballs. He just had those two batters [Votto and Bruce] where he had mistakes, and they're the wrong guys to make mistakes to."

The outing maintained Estrada's 4.50 earned-run average in 12 appearances and seven starts. The right hander has 46 strikeouts, nine walks and has held batters to a .238 batting average through 42 innings this season.

Milwaukee (34-41) dropped two of the three games to Cincinnati to find themselves 7 1/2 games back of the National League Central-leading Reds (41-33) heading into Thursday.

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