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Brandon McCarthy exits early with right hip stiffness

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Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- The story of the 2016 season for Brandon McCarthy took another sharp angle in the wrong direction Saturday afternoon.

Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts came to the mound with a trainer by his side with two outs in the second inning and left with McCarthy coming back to the dugout.

A trip to the disabled list is likely as the team says McCarthy came out of the game with right hip stiffness. McCarthy speculated as much after the game.

"I don’t know how much more of that they want to see," McCarthy said. "So I would guess that’s a yes."

Roberts said after the game that McCarthy hurt himself fielding a bunt in Colorado back on August 2 and it has been messing with the righty's mechanics.

"Brandon wants to compete, wants to be out there and make his starts," Roberts said. We're going to continue to do tests and make a decision [about a trip to the disabled list] tomorrow."

McCarthy already went through the grueling process of rehabbing from Tommy John surgery but it's unclear at the moment what this setback might bring.

What is clear is that McCarthy will need time to figure out how to get right physically and mentally. McCarthy talked earlier this year about the rest of 2016 being part of the rehab process and it hasn't gone the way he thought it would.

The most likely scenario is McCarthy needing time on a rehab assignment so that he make adjustments and get well physically while being away from the big club. How long that process takes is anybody's guess.

"It doesn’t help to put a label on it," said McCarthy. "It is what it is. I don’t sit and put a meter on everything. It’s an obstacle to get over and getting back feeling better and getting things where they need to be."

The right-hander's day started in the same place his last two starts came to a conclusion. McCarthy couldn’t find the strike zone in a wild first inning that carried over into the second inning, walking five — the same amount of outs he recorded on the day.

It's always hard to predict how a pitcher will respond when they make a return from Tommy John surgery. But the initial results were promising as McCarthy gave up just four earned runs in four solid starts after making his season debut on July 3.

McCarthy, charged with three runs Saturday, has lasted a total of just 8 ⅓ innings over his last three outings, resulting in 15 walks and two hit batters over 46 batters faced.

Bud Norris is making a rehab start for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga Saturday evening that would line him up to take McCarthy's spot in the rotation.