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McCarthy helps tame Tigers

AP

Brandon McCarthy has been a steady presence in the New York Yankees’ rotation since his arrival in a trade with Arizona. Still, he knew the stakes were even higher against Max Scherzer and the AL Central-leading Tigers.

McCarthy won his fourth start in a row with a gritty effort, and the Yankees took the first of three straight matchups against Detroit’s Cy Young Award winners, beating the Tigers 2-1 Monday night.

“This is a chance to step up against one of the best and to make our own mark,” McCarthy said. “It’s on me to do my part to kick in, especially against a tough team and Max.”

Brian McCann hit an RBI single and Jacoby Ellsbury had a sacrifice fly in the third, an inning in which the Tigers saved several runs with fine fielding.

McCarthy (4-0) allowed five hits and an unearned run in 5⅔ innings. The Yankees have won each of his five starts since he was acquired July 6. Using a sharp curveball, he threw a season-high 116 pitches and struck out eight, including all three in the second when Victor Martinez led off with a double and Detroit loaded the bases.

“He’s been huge for our rotation,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “He’s come over here and pitched about as well as you could.”

David Robertson was perfect in the ninth for his 30th save.

Scherzer (13-4) gave up nine hits over seven innings in losing for the first time since June 17, a span of eight starts. The reigning AL Cy Young winner yielded two runs in the third, but it could’ve been much worse.

With the bases loaded, Ellsbury sent a deep drive to center field. Ezequiel Carrera, promoted from Triple-A last week after Austin Jackson was traded in the deadline deal that sent David Price to Detroit, made a long run before diving back toward the wall. Fully extended, Carrera made the catch and slid on his stomach onto the warning track.

“That looked like it had a chance to give us a much bigger lead,” Girardi said. “That was an unbelievable play by Carrera.”

Carrera was making his first start in center field for Detroit.

“Very happy,” Carrera said through a translator. “Being aggressive is what helped me make the play and that is what I am trying to do here with the team.”

White Sox 5, Rangers 3 (7)

In Chicago, Tyler Flowers homered and drove in three runs and Jose Abreu had two hits and two RBIs.

The game was called in the bottom of the seventh inning following a 57-minute rain delay.

Flowers went 3-for-3 and was a double shy of a cycle. He scored two runs as the White Sox snapped a two-game losing streak.

Athletics 3, Rays 2 (10)

In Oakland, Derek Norris singled up the middle with two outs and the bases loaded in the 10th inning against former Athletics closer Grant Balfour to sink Tampa Bay.

Norris notched his second career game-ending RBI against Balfour in Oakland’s eighth walkoff win of the season.

INTERLEAGUE

Indians 7, Reds 1

In Cleveland, Corey Kluber allowed one run in 7⅓ innings to win his fifth straight decision.

Kluber, who hasn’t lost since June 30, held the Reds to six hits, struck out seven and walked two.

Kluber’s 17-inning scoreless streak ended in the eighth on Brayan Pena’s RBI double off reliever Nick Hagadone.

Tanaka plays catch

New York AP

Masahiro Tanaka took a very small step toward returning to the New York Yankees’ rotation by playing a pain-free game of catch.

Tanaka made 25 throws from 60 feet (18 meters) Monday, his first action since being sidelined in early July with a small tear of the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

The rookie sensation was 12-4 with a 2.51 ERA before landing on the disabled list. He is trying to avoid Tommy John surgery, which would sideline the 25-year-old All-Star for at least a year.

“I think it all went well,” Tanaka said through a translator. “I think I get to the next step, so I’m very relieved about that.”

Manager Joe Girardi cautioned that it was slow start in a long process, but was encouraged the throwing in the outfield went well.

Tanaka will play catch again Tuesday and will increase the intensity as he goes along. Girardi said the real test will come when Tanaka gets on a mound and faces competition.

“It’s way too early to see,” Girardi said. “It’s positive that he didn’t feel anything today, but it’s really light catch.”