ST. LOUIS -- Dodgers starter Brandon McCarthy left Friday night's game against Cardinals in the seventh inning with leg cramps, but he still looked sharp in his longest outing since returning from Tommy John surgery.
He had given up two runs (one earned) on one hit through 6 1/3 innings, with his only miscue coming in the third inning, when he surrendered a run-scoring single to Aledmys Diaz. McCarthy's effort didn't yield a victory as the Dodgers fell 4-3 in 16 innings. "Coming out when I did wasn't something I really cared for, but there was nothing I could do," McCarthy said.
He got Matt Holliday to ground out, walked Matt Adams and after one pitch to Yadier Molina, the trainers came out to check on the right-hander. McCarthy tried to stretch his leg on the back of the mound for a few minutes before he was pulled from the game.
"It was going to be his last hitter anyway, so with the cramp it made sense to just get him out of there," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
McCarthy is 2-0 with a 1.61 ERA in four starts since his return from surgery. His only miscue came in the third inning, when he surrendered a run-scoring single to Aledmys Diaz.
Adam Liberatore replaced McCarthy and loaded the bases, but got Greg Garcia to ground out to end the seventh inning with the score tied at 2.
"I can't imagine there is anybody better hydrated than me," McCarthy said. "I don't know if I just blew it out or something happened. It just cramped up on me and then right when I got to the dugout, the other one went."
McCarthy became the first Dodgers pitcher since Dan Haren (Sept. 17, 2014) to throw 6 1/3 innings and allow one hit but two or more runs. He added that he drank pickle juice and ate a jalapeno after the start to help with the cramps.
"I haven't cramped since," he said. "So I guess we're onto something."
Nick Krueger is a reporter for MLB.com based in St. Louis. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.