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McCarthy 'kind of off' in third spring start

PHOENIX -- D-backs starter Brandon McCarthy was honest in describing his first poor start of the spring on Saturday.

"That wouldn't be an acceptable outing during the regular season," McCarthy said following the D-backs' 11-9 win over the White Sox. "Getting through that [four-run] second inning, I have to make a lot better pitches there to do it."

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Of course, it's not the regular season, and McCarthy was quick to point that out, adding that his three-inning outing still had plenty of merit because he built up his pitch count and stamina.

McCarthy's second inning began with a string of three consecutive White Sox hits. Later in the frame, Josh Bell tacked on the exclamation point by roping a homer to right, making it 4-3 White Sox. In total, McCarthy surrendered seven hits, most of which were hit hard.

"I just was kind of off," McCarthy said. "It was taking me longer to make the adjustments I was trying to make than I would have liked. It was just kind of one of those days. If it was the regular season, there's some things I might have done differently."

Overall, McCarthy was pleased with his changeup, but felt the other pitches were lacking.

"He didn't seem to have his command," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He has had command with all his pitches [until Saturday]. The one to Bell, he tried to come in and it just kind of ran back out over. Prior games, he was a lot sharper than that."

AJ Cassavell is a reporter for MLB.com Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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