D-backs contained by ex-mate Garland
Right-hander solid for seven innings in Dodgers debut
LOS ANGELES -- The D-backs had seen this before out of Jon Garland.
This time, they were just on the wrong side of it.
The veteran right-hander kept the ball down and pitched his way out of jams as he led the Dodgers past his former mates, 4-2, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Garland (9-11) started off the series playing for the D-backs and was scheduled to pitch for them Thursday night.
Instead, in what was a surreal scene, Garland was dealt to the Dodgers in the middle of Monday's game and spent the final two innings that night in the D-backs' clubhouse not sure who he was rooting for.
"One thing that you know about Garland is he's never going to change the way that he pitches, the style that he pitches," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's going to attack the strike zone, he's going to mix his pitches enough and he's going to try and get you to chase when he's ahead and he did."
The D-backs started off well enough against him when Stephen Drew led off the game with a single. After a lineout and a walk, Mark Reynolds singled him home.
"The first couple innings, I had extra adrenaline, and I don't know if it was because I was pitching for the Dodgers or that I wanted to do well with them on the other side," Garland said. "But I calmed down and got my feet under me and got more ground balls. The first few innings, everything was coming up. I had a little extra on the ball."
Garland, though, got Brandon Allen to hit into a 1-6-3 double play to end the inning without any further damage.
"We tried to get to him as soon as possible and he just settled down and got into his comfort zone and threw his sinker well and threw his slider well," Drew said.
"That's what he's been doing for 10 years in the league," Reynolds said.
After the first-inning opportunity and a solo homer by Drew in the third, the D-backs could not put anything together against Garland, who retired the final 14 batters he faced before departing after seven innings.
"He made a quality pitch when he needed to and he was able to keep the ball down and he got a lot of ground balls," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said. "We probably got a little excited about facing him and doing well against him. I just think he pitched a good game. You've got to give credit to him."
In his first start since being recalled from Triple-A Reno, Billy Buckner (2-6) pitched well for the D-backs, allowing four runs over six innings.
"He mixed his pitches," Hinch said. "He had a really good cutter early on. He was throwing his curveball a little harder than he usually does."
One inning Buckner would probably like back was the second, when, with two outs, he allowed a single to James Loney and then uncorked a wild pitch to allow Loney to go to second. Loney then scored on a bloop hit by Ronnie Belliard.
"I think the sequence base hit, wild pitch, bloop hit cost him a run," Hinch said. "Not the difference in the game, but just giving up that kind of cheap run against a good team keeps them in the game and gains them momentum."
The D-backs finished with a split in the four-game series and easily could have won at least three.
"To split two and two is acceptable," Hinch said. "I thought we played well. We played good games on a big stage here. They're obviously full tilt, every game is a battle. This is fun. I wish we would have squeaked out one more win to make it tough on them."
The D-backs will get another crack at the Dodgers, and Garland, next week when Los Angeles visits Chase Field.
Garland likely will start either Tuesday or Wednesday depending on how the Dodgers align their rotation.
"He won this battle," Hinch said. "We'll see him again in five days and hopefully we can repay him."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.