Garland scheduled to make his NL debut as Dbacks open 3-game series against Dodgers

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PHOENIX (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks were in prime position to win the NL West last season before their poor play down the stretch against the Los Angeles Dodgers helped cost them the title.

The Diamondbacks had plenty of awful starting pitching in those games, and that was a big reason why they opted to sign Jon Garland in the offseason.

Garland will make his Arizona debut tonight in the opener of a three-game series at Chase Field when the Diamondbacks play the Dodgers for the first time since last season's collapse.

Arizona (1-2) won the opener of a three-game home set with Los Angeles (2-2) on Aug. 29, 2008, to take a 4 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers in the NL West.

Los Angeles was reeling at the time with an eight-game road losing streak, but won the final two games of that series and swept Arizona the following weekend at home to take control of the division race.

Arizona was unable to contain Los Angeles slugger Manny Ramirez, who went 12-for-19 with nine runs scored and seven RBIs in his last six games versus the Diamondbacks in 2008.

Ramirez is 13-for-25 (.520) with 10 RBIs in his career against Garland.

The veteran right-hander will make his National League debut after going 14-8 with a 4.90 ERA last season with the Los Angeles Angels. He has never faced the Dodgers.