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

Nothing is normal about the four-game series the Rangers and D-backs are currently in the middle of playing.

After the D-backs won both games of a doubleheader on Monday in Arizona, the two teams travel to Texas for two more contests beginning on Wednesday after an off-day.

"It helps to have the off-day, but what's an off-day if you're getting in at 5 in the morning?" Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "I'm going to sleep half of it away. Not because I want to, but if I don't, I'm going to be a zombie."

For the D-backs, Wednesday's game marks the beginning of an important nine-game road trip. This season, Arizona is 14-10 on the road.

"We've been pretty good on the road," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "These guys get along well, they prepare well and we've got a good routine.

"Texas is certainly battle-tested and they're a playoff team. They're very powerful, very strong and we'll have to be at the top of our game."

D-backs right-hander Brandon McCarthy makes the start in the contest and is 2-0 with a 1.19 ERA in his last four starts.

McCarthy saw his career-best 18-inning scoreless streak end on Friday against the Padres, but he still won his second consecutive game, allowing just one run over seven innings.

Meanwhile, right-hander Justin Grimm will be on the hill for the Rangers. Grimm -- 4-3 with a 4.05 ERA overall but 2-1 with a 2.79 ERA at Rangers Ballpark -- was credited with a quality start in his last outing at Seattle despite allowing 10 hits.

It marked the second time this season the Rangers have had such a quality start, with the first coming from Derek Holland in a May 8 start against the Brewers.

Grimm allowed three runs in 6 1/3 frames on Friday, striking out five and tossing 88 pitches for his second straight victory.

"It was a battle," Grimm said after the start. "I don't mind giving up hits, but I was leaving the ball over the plate and making it easy for them."

D-backs: Putz's return still undetermined
Right-hander J.J. Putz has begun playing catch, but the closer knows that he still has awhile to go before he's able to pitch again.

Putz was placed on the disabled list with a sprained ulnar collateral ligament on May 8, yet recently began playing catch from 90 feet.

"It feels really good," Putz said. "It's fun to watch the team win, but it's hard to not be out there competing with the guys."

Rangers: Berkman makes debut in field
For the first time this season, Lance Berkman played the field, starting at first base and batting third in Monday's nightcap of the Rangers' doubleheader against the D-backs.

In his first 44 games this year, Berkman was limited to designated hitter duties while recovering from two knee operations in 2012.

Last season with the Cardinals, Berkman played 23 games at first base.

Worth noting
• In his last eight games, D-backs infielder Martin Prado is hitting .379 (11-for-29) with three doubles and five RBIs.

• Texas has won 38 of its last 57 games against National League opponents. Comments