McFarland covered 2.2 scoreless innings in long relief during the Diamondbacks' 8-2 loss to the Brewers on Thursday. He gave up a walk and a hit and struck out one.

McFarland retired eight of the 10 batters he faced in an efficient 40 pitches, sparing Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo from having to overwork his relief corps in the blowout loss. With a 1.46 ERA and 0.97 WHIP across 12.1 innings in his last five appearances, McFarland has been exceptional in long relief of late, though most of his work has come with the outcome of the game already decided. With Robbie Ray (oblique) still on the mend and seemingly unlikely to return by the end of the month, McFarland could get the opportunity to temporarily fill the final spot in Arizona's five-man rotation. The Diamondbacks will next require a fifth starter Tuesday in Milwaukee, so if McFarland goes unused out of the bullpen in the three-game series with the Mets over the weekend, he might be the top candidate to replace Ray.

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