gave Arizona its third commanding start against the potent Dodgers' lineup, making Los Angeles' series win that much more
scattered four hits over six innings in his matchup with Garland and
hit a sacrifice fly, leading the defending NL West champions to a 1-0 victory over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
''They didn't give in,'' Garland said. ''They're playing good ball and they're playing mentally sound. When you do that, good
things are going to happen.''
combined to limit the Dodgers to just two runs and 10 hits over 19 innings and struck out 18. Buckner pitched six scoreless
innings Friday night in a 3-2 win, then Haren pitched two-hit ball over seven innings Saturday before the bullpen blew a 5-1
lead in a 6-5 loss.
''It's so important to win games that are pitched well by the other team,'' Dodgers manager
said. ''When you go to the postseason, which is obviously our goal, you are going to face the best. So you are going to have
to learn how to manufacture runs, take the little things and not give anything away. It's just about the personality of this
club. We play a lot of one-run, two-run games. It's not good for my stomach, but it's good practice.''
Billingsley (7-3) struck out nine and walked four, rebounding strongly after back-to-back losses against the Angels and Cubs.
The right-hander has allowed no more than two earned runs in eight of his 12 starts this season.
''I just try to get deep into the game, try to throw up zeros and give the team a chance to win. That's how I approach every
single start,'' Billingsley said. ''And when I see the other guy going out there and putting up zeros, too, I know I have
to do the same.''
escaped a jam in the eighth when shortstop
's sharp grounder with runners at the corners and stepped on second base before completing an inning-ending double play.
pitched a perfect ninth for his 13th save in 15 games, completing the combined seven-hitter and securing the Dodgers' second
1-0 win this season.
''It's good to know you've got that big guy coming in,'' Torre said. ''He's been - I hate to put that moniker 'automatic'
on someone, because this game will humble you. But he's come in with great stuff every time.''
Garland (4-5) yielded one run and four hits and struck out six in his Dodger Stadium debut. The 10-year veteran was born in
nearby Granada Hills and played his high school ball there.
Both starting pitchers escaped bases-loaded jams in the fifth - Billingsley on a groundout by rookie
, Garland on a dribbler up the first base line by Furcal with catcher Montero making the play.
Garland and Billingsley matched zeros until the sixth, when
hit his first triple of the season past a diving Garardo Parra near the left-field line and Blake followed with his scoring
''It was a 2-1 sinker, and I thought that ball was going to hang up in the air long enough,'' Garland said. ''We were shading
him to pull a little bit, but he's going real hot right now. Those are the breaks that seem to go your way when you're playing
good ball and you're winning.''
Los Angeles improved the best record in the majors to 37-18 and extended its NL West lead to a season-high 9 1/2 games over
San Francisco Giants
, whose game at Washington was postponed by rain. The Dodgers' were 6 1/2 games in front when
received a 50-game suspension from Major League Baseball on May 7 for violating its drug abuse program, and are 16-10 since
The Diamondbacks are 11-14 since player personnel director A.J. Hinch replaced
as manager on May 8. They failed to get an extra-base hit for the first time in 74 games - 54 this season - a streak that
began after a 7-2 loss against Billingsley on Sept. 6 at Dodger Stadium.
Notes: Dodgers 2B
, the only player to start in each of the team's first 54 games, sat out his first game of the season - the same night the
club commemorated his cycle on April 13 by handing out posters to everyone in attendance.