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The New Kids Are Alright, Dodgers Rope Snakes

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Jon Garland Wins A Game In His Hometown, For His Hometown (AP Photo/Gus Ruelas)
The Los Angeles Dodgers (80-55) 4 - 2 victory charge over the Arizona Diamondbacks (61-74) was led by two players who started the week on other teams.

Jon Garland (9-11,) the game’s winning pitcher, came to Dodgers Stadium on Monday as an Arizona Diamondback. Ronnie Belliard, whose 3 RBIs accounted for 75% of the Dodgers' offense, was a Washington National on Sunday morning.

LA-native Garland, pitched seven economical innings. The newest Dodger hurler allowed two runs (both earned,) while letting up five hits, and walking one of his old teammates.

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“I grew up going to games here,” said Garland, who turns thirty later this month. “A chance to pitch for them is a dream come true. It’s kind of awkward the way it happened.”

Garland had been scheduled to start the game for the Diamondbacks.

“He may have been uncomfortable,” said Dodgers manager Joe Torre of the situation.

After a slow start, Garland would retire the last fourteen batters he faced, striking out six. “He was really good once he started locating,” said Torre.

Belliard tore two important RBI singles off of D'Backs starter Billy Buckner (2 - 6.)

“He knows how to play and it looks like he’s comfortable right now,” said Torre of his new second baseman who homered earlier in the week.

The Dodgers’ mighty bullpen secured Garland’s win. Two innings of scoreless ball were provided by George Sherrill, in the eighth, and Jonathan Broxton, in the ninth.

“They did an unbelievable job,” said Garland. “I tip my cap to both of them.” Brox The Ox earned his 31st save, and Sherrill’s shutout eight extended his streak of one-run ball to 18.1 innings.

The Dodgers’ lone non-Belliard-driven run was a Manny Ramirez home run. It was his sixteenth bomb of the season and the 543th of his career. The shot to center took its time to get there, unlike unlike some of his typical power-drives, which leave the park with a Donner Party-like hunger.

Torre was also pleased with James Loney’s productive night. “That’s the best he has swung the bat in a while, and I’m talking about consecutive at bats,” said the boss. Loney was 2 for 4 and scored a run.

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Buckner pitched a decent-enough six innings (four runs, eight hits,) but it was the performance in his final inning which saw him giving the Dodgers their insurance run. The Snakes’ two runs were scored by Stephen Drew, one of which was a solo home run in the third.

A sticky game-time temperature of 87 degrees was thickened by the historic Station Fire burning just beyond the horizon. Rare bursts of cool breeze were welcomed but accompanied by all-too-real fragrant reminders of the 143,743 fiery acreage whose haze clouds Chavez-Ravine.

And Whatnot

The win puts the ahead of the second place Colorado Rockies by 5.5 games, thanks to the Mets’ rare victory over the team from Denver.

Do You Look Like Manny? On Saturday The Second Annual Manny Ramirez Look-Alike Contest takes place at the Viva Los Dodgers celebration in parking lot 1 of Dodgers Stadium from 1-6 p.m. To enter the contest, participants dressed as Ramirez will visit the Time Warner Cable booth between 1 and 3 p.m. The winner does not win a makeover but an opportunity to attend batting practice before the game and meet their richer doppelganger. The night's game happens at 7:10 p.m. against the sorta-hated San Diego Padres.

Next week, Dodgers Stadium hosts the funeral for the firefighters killed in the Station Fire.

Jon Garland was All-State Player of the Year at Granada Hills’ John F. Kennedy High School.

After facing the fourth place NL West team, the next match-up is against the West's fifth place San Diego Padres.

The Dodgers split the four game series with the D'Backs 2-2.

How about them Dodgers? Comment Below!