LOS ANGELES(AP) Growing up in Southern California,
always dreamed of pitching at Dodger Stadium.
Even in his wildest imagination, he probably didn't think it would happen against a bunch of guys who were his teammates a
couple days earlier.
Facing the team that traded him to the
Los Angeles Dodgers
just three days earlier, Garland retired his last 14 batters to lead the NL West leaders to a 4-2 victory over the
on Thursday night and a split of the four-game series.
When the Diamondbacks got to Los Angeles to begin this seven-game trip, Garland was slated to face Dodgers' knuckleballer
in the series finale. But the 29-year-old right-hander switched teams during Monday night's game with the deadline for eligibility
in the postseason looming.
''I think it was more uncomfortable because I was in that other dugout the first game and then came over,'' Garland said.
''I mean, if it would have been like a week or two weeks down the road, it would have been a little bit different. But the
fact that it was in the same series, there was a little extra the first few innings.''
Garland (9-11) gave up two runs and five hits over seven innings, including a solo homer by
. The right-hander, coming off back-to-back wins against Houston - including a seven-inning scoreless stint last Saturday
- has won three consecutive starts after going 1-9 with a 4.50 ERA over his previous 16 outings.
No Dodgers outfielder made a putout the entire time Garland was out there. He struck out six, retired one batter on a line
drive, two more on popups, and got 12 of his outs on ground balls - including double plays that ended the first and second
''Being able to go out there and give this team a good quality start, coming out of the game with the lead and ending up winning
it, I couldn't have asked for much more,'' Garland said. ''Once I finally calmed down and got my feet underneath me, the ball
started moving a little bit more and I was getting more ground balls and we got off a nice little run.''
It's the first time Garland has won three straight starts since May 2007 with the
, when he beat the Angels, Royals and Yankees.
''It's always a challenge, facing a guy that you've been close with all year,'' Arizona third baseman
said. ''Gar's a great guy. We wanted to go out there and lay something on him, but he pitched a great game and got a lot of
ground-ball outs. We really couldn't string anything together.
''He's seen us hit all year, so he knows our weaknesses and our strengths,'' Reynolds added. ''Facing us this soon, I'm sure
he had a good game plan on what he wanted to do. After that shaky first inning or two, he settled down and was throwing his
sinker and was able to get a lot of ground balls.''
The only other time Garland pitched at Dodger Stadium was on June 3, when he allowed a run and four hits over six innings
but gave up a sacrifice fly by
after a triple by
and lost 1-0. The 10-year veteran was born in Valencia, Calif., and played his high school ball in nearby Granada Hills.
''It was fun. I grew up coming to games here, and getting a chance to pitch for this team is definitely a dream come true,''
Garland said. ''It's kind of awkward the way it happened - but nevertheless, it did - and I was able to throw a good one up.
I didn't leave too many tickets. I cut the phone off and told people if they want to come, they can pay for it and support
homered and newly acquired
had three RBIs, including a run-scoring single that put Los Angeles ahead to stay in the fourth inning.
pitched a scoreless eighth inning and
did likewise in the ninth for his 31st save in 36 attempts.
(2-6) gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings and struck out four. The right-hander is 0-5 with a gaudy 11.10 ERA
in his last five starts with the Diamondbacks since beating the Dodgers 3-2 on June 1 at Los Angeles with six scoreless innings
of four-hit ball.
It was Buckner's first start since being recalled from Triple-A Reno on Monday, and it was Garland's departure that enabled
it to happen.
''I guess it's good for him that he can go over there and be on a contender, but it was also an opportunity for me. So I was
happy about it,'' Buckner said.
The Dodgers grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fourth. Ramirez tied it with his 16th homer and 543rd of his career. Blake, fighting
a 3-for-31 rut, doubled inside third base and scored from third one out later on Belliard's single.
Drew gave Arizona a 2-1 lead in the third with his 12th homer, driving a 1-0 pitch just beyond the outstretched glove of center
fielder Kemp as he made a leaping attempt in right-center.
NOTES: Garland was the 12th pitcher to start for the Dodgers, one more than they used last season and one shy of the Los Angeles
record set in 1964. The franchise mark is 19 - in 1944, while World War II was still raging. ... Arizona RF
didn't was a late scratch from the starting lineup because of a problem with his contact lenses. But he pinch-hit in the seventh