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NYM@ARI: McCarthy strikes out five in loss vs. Mets

PHOENIX -- It has been a long road trip for the Phillies.

It has been any even longer road back to respectability for the D-backs.

On Sunday, the two teams will square off in the series finale with Brandon McCarthy on the mound for the D-backs and A.J. Burnett on the hill for the Phillies.

The D-backs got off to a slow start but have won three of four and are looking to win the series. The Phillies are 5-4 in the first nine games of their current 10-game road trip heading into Sunday.

It has been an unusual year for McCarthy. He has pitched well at times in each of his starts this year, but he has also been hit hard. Last time out, a three-run homer by Mike Olt hurt him as the Cubs beat him, 9-2, at Wrigley Field.

"That's my job there after the error to get out of that inning and make sure we get back in the dugout and minimize any damage there, and I was one pitch away from doing that," McCarthy said after the start. "But again that's just kind of how it's been going. Even when we've had a chance to get past something, it just hasn't worked out for whatever reason."

As for Burnett, he gave the Phillies a chance to win Tuesday at Dodger Stadium by allowing six hits, two runs, one walk in 6 2/3 innings. He also struck out five and notched a career-high three hits.

The Phillies will start the first of seven home games on Tuesday against the Mets. The D-backs will play host to the Rockies at Chase Field for three games starting Monday.

Phillies:  No cycle for Howard

Joe Torre, Major League Baseball Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations, upheld the scoring decision from the game against the Rockies on April 20 that kept Ryan Howard from hitting the club's first cycle since David Bell accomplished the feat in 2004.

On the play in question, Howard's batted ball to right field eluded outfielder Brian Barnes and he ended up on second base. The play was scored a single and error (E-9). Howard finished the game 4-for-5 with two singles, a triple and a home run. Howard needed a double to complete the cycle.

D-backs: Ross back in lineup

Cody Ross was back in the starting lineup on Saturday night and he's expected to play again on Sunday after being limited to one at-bat in consecutive games as he rebounds from last year's serious hip injury and surgery.

"He's going to play some. We'll continue to rotate him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's really good against lefties and as I said before he needs to play more to get his rhythm going to get hot. We hope he gets going. We really need that. At the same time we'll try to read [his condition]. He's not going to tell me whether he needs a day off. We'll try and stay away from that where we push him too far."

Ross had two hits and three RBI in his first two at-bats Saturday.

Worth Noting:

• The D-backs have invited Randy Johnson back to Chase Field to throw out the first pitch on May 18 before the game against the Dodgers. It's the 10th anniversary of Johnson throwing a perfect game against the Braves at Turner Field. Robby Hammock, who caught that game on May 18, 2004, will receive Johnson's first pitch.

• The Phillies are 25-15 against the D-backs since 2008.

• Reliever Brad Zeigler has a string of 10 consecutive scoreless games and 13 of his 14 appearances overall this season. He has allowed two hits, walked four and whiffed nine in 9 2/3 innings.

• The Phillies have two more 10-game road trips this season.

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