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03/04/2013 7:50 PM ET

McCarthy pleased with early results on mound

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Brandon McCarthy was once again sharp as the D-backs right-hander tossed three innings against the Reds on Monday at Salt River Fields.

McCarthy, who was signed to a two-year contract as a free agent this winter, allowed one run -- a solo homer by Zack Cozart -- and fanned five.

"It was a pretty good extension of last time where I felt command-wise I was good," McCarthy said. "I was able to accomplish everything I wanted to and the results were there, which is always nice. For a spring outing, it was pretty solid."

What was he trying to accomplish?

"Not being terrible," he said. "You just kind of want to throw well is the goal. I don't take spring too much as a project where you're doing new things, I try and pitch the way I would during the season for the most part, but there are little things here and there that you're playing with."

One of those things he's working on is getting a better feel for his changeup, which he said he was able to do Monday.

McCarthy's three innings went so smoothly that D-backs manager Kirk Gibson thought about sending him out for a fourth before electing to end it on a positive note.

"McCarthy was outstanding, had a really good day," Gibson said. "Cozart just turned a really good pitch. He's throwing the ball to both sides of the plate. Really, really, throwing the ball well."

Gibson's choice to drop DH displeases Reds' Baker

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs manager Kirk Gibson and Reds manager Dusty Baker had a testy discussion when they met at home plate for the exchange of lineup cards prior to Monday's game.

Baker had wanted to use Shin-Soo Choo as a designated hitter because he is dealing with a quadriceps issue. Gibson wanted to play under standard National League rules in which the pitcher hits. That's because he wanted starter Brandon McCarthy, who is coming over from the American League, to have as many at-bats as possible this spring.

In Spring Training, it's up to the home team -- in this case the D-backs -- to decide whether a DH is used or not.

"I had it happen last year with a team, they tried to put the DH in there and that's not the way it's done," Gibson said. "I wanted to play a National League game. I notified them several times and they just wanted to do it their way and they couldn't do it. So they didn't like that. But we play by the rules here, that's the way it is. We go over there we play by their rules. It's very simple."

As the animated pregame conversation came to a close it looked as though Gibson offered to shake Baker's hand, but Baker refused.

"We didn't have a very pleasant encounter at home plate," Baker said. "That's how it goes. It's over."

Said Gibson, "It was a good locker-room talk. Read between the lines."

Choo ended up pinch-hitting in the sixth inning, and McCarthy got one at-bat and hit a tapper in front of home plate for an out.

D-backs send Ross to undergo MRI on calf

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- D-backs outfielder Cody Ross will have an MRI taken of his ailing left calf one day after being removed from a spring game after three innings.

Ross was scratched from the lineup Friday when the calf first flared up, received a scheduled off-day Saturday and was back in the lineup Sunday.

After experiencing more tightness in the calf area Sunday, he left after three innings, and the D-backs felt it was time to have further testing done.

While D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said he doesn't feel the injury is anything to be overly concerned about, it's clear that it will keep Ross out of the lineup for more than just a couple of days as originally thought.

Unless the injury proves to be more serious, there is still plenty of time for Ross to get ready for the April 1 opener.

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