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D-Backs' Brandon McCarthy strikes out four in return to mound

Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy returned to the mound for the first time in six months. (Rich Pilling/Getty Images) Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy returned to the mound for the first time in six months. (Rich Pilling/Getty Images)

Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Brandon McCarthy struck out four batters in two innings in his first appearance since being struck by a line drive in the head last September that jeopardized his baseball career.

McCarthy looked sharped in his Cactus League debut against the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday and admitted he had a case of the nerves before taking the mound. McCarthy struck out the side in the first inning and finished with one run and three hits allowed.

McCarthy suffered an epidural hemorrhage, brain contusion and skull fracture after being hit in the head on the line drive off the bat Erick Aybar of the Los Angeles Angels.

"I assume it will become less of a hot issue," McCarthy said, via ESPN.com. "For me, it can't really get more behind me than it is. But I think I'll always be that guy, where it's one of the defining markers for me. I just have to try to pitch well enough to get out of that."

"I was so nervous, I'm still shaking,'' said McCarthy's wife, Amanda after her husband was removed from the game. "I'm not a very nervous person in general, but this is a unique situation…I personally thought his baseball [career] was over last year. It was awesome to see him out there. It was surreal.''

McCarthy signed a two-year, $15.5 million contract with Arizona as a free agent in December and is slated to be the fourth starter in the Diamondbacks rotation this season.
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