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Brandon McCarthy takes first start in stride

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LOS ANGELES ---- Brandon McCarthy felt a little surprised at how he didn't feel different about today's start since it was his first one back from Tommy John surgery.

"I felt normal, I didn't feel too nervous, there wasn't anything going on that maybe I was expecting," said McCarthy, "I just kind of settled in.

"Because I've rehabbed enough, and done enough of this that, I know not to put too much stock in that first start back and not to get too high, unfortunately I've been able to train for this during the course of my career and tried not to get too high or too low and that's helped me."

Manager Dave Roberts thought this was as good as he has seen McCarthy pitch.

"It was great, this is as good as I've seen him, you know, in years past, this was, rivaled it really" Roberts said. "Fastball had live late, thrown the breaking ball when he needed to, mix in a couple of change ups.

"He just kind of continued what are starters did this entire series so it was, really excited for him, drove in a run today too, it was good to see."

Roberts had been asked a couple times in the last two days if McCarthy had a pitch limit and after the game, he would not concede there was a set number he was willing to give, he felt good about the decision to take McCarthy out when did.

"We had an idea where we wanted him to be," Roberts said. "To go back out there in the sixth, I just felt that we pass it on to the bullpen."

"It was more of you still got to be mindful of him coming back," said Roberts, "but there is no sense in me of throwing a hard number out there, a little strategy."

McCarthy said there wasn't too much discussion about him being taken out after five innings.

"We're still monitoring pitch count, we're making sure we're conservative with things," McCarthy said, "I had not built up too far in my rehab outings, I think we got into a good place where it was two times through the lineup., we weren't getting into a third time, and pitch count was manageable so [Roberts] said 'good job' and that was enough."

McCarthy praised catcher Yasmani Grandal and the overall game plan the Dodgers had against the Rockies this weekend.

The Dodgers gave up only two runs on two solo home runs in their three-game sweep of the Rockies. The entire staff scattered 12 hits and five walks while striking out 41 in 27 innings.

Yasmani Grandal thought for the last week, the pitching, especially the bullpen, had been very good, but in this series, the entire staff did a great job executing their game plan.

"You look back at the history of Colorado and they play us pretty good," Grandal said. "They can hit with the best of them but you know, it seemed like, our game plan was that good and we executed. I feel like execution was key to actually kind of, make those bats go cold almost."

Finally, when asked if he had a moment during today's game where he could reflect on his comeback, McCarthy said no but he did say he had this thought after he struck out Charlie Blackmon to start the game.

"The first strikeout, okay, at least if nothing else, I didn't end my career with a home run to Justin Upton."

Up next

The Dodgers welcome the Baltimore Orioles to Dodger Stadium for an interleague three-game series.  Julio Urias will start for the Dodgers and Yovani Gallardo will pitch for the Orioles.

First pitch is scheduled for 6:10 p.m. PT.