McCarthy to open against Rays

Rangers send McCarthy to open against Rays

Brandon McCarthy has pitched twice before at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington.

The first one didn't go so well, as he allowed six runs (including four homers) in five innings. The second was much better: 7 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball on just two hits.

Both starts were two seasons ago when he was pitching for the Chicago White Sox against the Rangers. Now he pitches for the Rangers and makes his first home start at The Ballpark when he faces the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Monday night.

The Ballpark has been known as a hitter's park, especially when it comes to balls flying into the seats. Combine that with the fact that McCarthy has allowed 30 home runs in 157 2/3 innings in the Major Leagues, and there is reason to wonder how he'll fare in his new home.

"I don't view it any differently than any other place," McCarthy said. "It's a ballpark. It has a penchant for giving up home runs, but that's on the pitcher as much as the park. You just have to keep the ball down. Over the course of your career, you might give up some cheap ones, but if you keep the ball down, throw strikes and get ahead of hitters, it's going to come out in your favor."

The one difference between McCarthy in his time in Chicago is that he is now a full-time starter, rather than jumping back and forth between the rotation and the bullpen.

He made his first start for the Rangers on Wednesday against the Los Angeles Angels and allowed five runs (three earned) in six innings. He allowed four in the first but held the Angels to one run over the next five innings.

"I'm just excited to get to pitch again in a place where five days can't come soon enough," manager Ron Washington said. "You want to pitch well in front of the home fans, but it's just exciting to get back out there."

Pitching matchup
TEX: RHP Brandon McCarthy (0-1, 4.50 ERA)
McCarthy is 1-1 with a 3.68 ERA in two career games at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. He is 0-2 with an 11.25 ERA in his career against the Devil Rays. The Rays and the Rangers are the only two teams that have beaten McCarthy twice in his short career. But much of the damage was done by Rays players who are no longer there. The current roster has a total of 16 at-bats against McCarthy. Carl Crawford has five at-bats against him, the most for anybody, but he is hitless.

TB: RHP Edwin Jackson (0-0, -.--)
Jackson will make his first start of the season after claiming the No. 5 spot in a six-pitcher competition conducted during Spring Training. The right-hander has a big fastball but has lacked command and confidence in the past. The Rays are banking that a stint in Venezuela benefited him enough to get him over the hump so he can realize his potential. Jackson made one start against the Rangers in 2006 and allowed five earned runs in seven innings.

Player to watch
Mark Teixeira is hitting .308 with eight home runs, 26 RBIs and a .600 slugging percentage in 35 games and 130 at-bats off of Devil Rays pitching.

On the Internet
 Gameday Audio
•  Gameday
•  Official game notes

On television
• my27

On radio
• 1080 KRLD AM, 1270 KFLC AM (Español)

Up next
• Tuesday: Devil Rays (Jae Seo, 0-0, 7.11) at Rangers (Jamey Wright, 0-0, -.--), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Wednesday: Devil Rays (James Shields, 0-0, 4.05) at Rangers (Robinson Tejeda, 1-0, 0.00), 7:05 p.m. CT
• Thursday: Off-day

T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.