Garland Lands in LA

Garland Lands in LA

The Arizona Diamondbacks have rid themselves of Jon Garland's ill-advised contract by dealing him to the Los Angeles Dodgers for a player-to-be-named-later. The veteran pitcher compiled a 5.35 ERA at Chase Field and figures to fare better in the friendlier confines of Dodger Stadium.

While the D-backs were playing the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday at Dodger Stadium, the general managers were doing business.

The D-backs traded right-hander Jon Garland to the Dodgers in a deal that was announced about the seventh inning of the D-backs' 5-3, 10-inning victory over the Dodgers. Because the deal beat the Aug. 31 deadline, Garland is eligible to pitch in the postseason.

The move likely finished the D-backs' non-contender roster shuffle, in which they traded reliever Tony Pena to the White Sox for first baseman Brandon Allen on July 7, sent second baseman Felipe Lopez to Milwaukee for two mid-level prospects, outfielder Cole Gillespie and right-hander Roque Mercedes, on July 19, and dealt reliever Jon Rauch to Minnesota for a player to be named on Friday.

Garland, 8-11 with a 4.29 ERA, was scheduled to start for the D-backs in the final game of this four-game series Thursday night. It is now likely Garland will oppose the D-backs instead of knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, who was listed as the probable starter before Monday's game.

The Dodgers need another starter partly because of the D-backs.  Rookie Rusty Ryal hit a line drive that struck right-hander Hiroki Kuroda in the head on August 15, and while Kuroda was released from the hospital the next morning, he was placed on the disabled list shortly thereafter with a concussion.

Garland signed a $6.25 million contract with the D-backs last winter that included a $10 million mutual option for 2010. The D-backs would have paid Garland $1 million if he declined the option and $2.5 million if they declined.

It had become clear that the D-backs would not bring Garland back and that they likely would have owed him the full $2.5 million. So they have saved over $5.4 million in the last four days, since Rauch is due to make $2.9 million in 2010.

Left-hander Doug Davis, a free agent after the season, was not moved, and indications are that the D-backs will bring him back in 2010. The sides have had preliminary discussions, although the D-backs are believed to be talking a one-year deal while Davis is shooting for a multi-year package. He is in the last year of a three-year, $23 million extension he signed after joining the D-backs before the 2007 season.

DIAMONDBACKS 5, DODGERS 3 (10 innings): Rookie 2B/1B Rusty Ryal hit a tie-breaking home run to lead off the 10th inning and pesky INF Augie Ojeda drew a bases-loaded, two-out walk to force in the second run of the inning as the D-backs extended their winning streak to five games. Ojeda drove in three runs, and OF Justin Upton tied the game off newcomer LHP George Sherrill with a one-out homer in the eighth after the Dodgers hit three bases-empty homers off LHP Doug Davis. RHP Juan Gutierrez earned his second save of the season while taking over for closer Chad Qualls (dislocated left kneecap).  Qualls will miss the remainder of the season, yet manager A.J. Hinch stopped short of naming Gutierrez as the closer for the rest of the year.

SNAKE BYTES

--The D-backs are 16-7 at home since July 1, including three-game series sweeps of San Diego and Houston. Their home winning percentage since July 1 is fifth in the majors, third in the National League, and first in the NL West as they embark on a seven-game road trip that began with a four-game series in Los Angeles and closes with a three-game set in Colorado.

--The D-backs set a franchise record when they won three straight games by at least seven runs -- 11-0 at San Francisco on Thursday, 14-7 over Houston on Friday and 9-0 over Houston on Saturday. Their 14 runs tied a season high with the previous mark being 11.

--2001 World Series hero OF Luis Gonzalez officially retired Saturday and joined the D-backs' front office as a special assistant to president and CEO Derrick Hall. Gonzalez, the all-time franchise leader in home runs, RBI, and most other hitting categories, will assist Hall on both the baseball and business side of the operation, the team said. "I still feel I can play. It just didn't happen," said Gonzalez, 41, in a press conference Saturday. "So this is a bittersweet day for me. It's tough to close the book on something you love to do. So it's sentimental, and it's a new beginning. And I'm looking forward to the next challenge."

--INF Augie Ojeda, who was 2-for-12 against Dodgers LHP Randy Wolf entering the game, was 2-for-2 with a two-run double in the second inning off Wolf on Monday. Ojeda had three hits and drove in a season-high three runs, the last when he walked with the bases loaded in the 10th inning. Ojeda has eight hits in his last 22 at-bats, with five RBI in his last four starts.

--RHP Chad Qualls (dislocated left kneecap) was placed on the 60-day disabled list before Monday's game against the Dodgers. Qualls suffered the injury when he landed awkwardly on the mound after deflecting a ball hit by Houston OF Jason Michaels. SS Stephen Drew picked up the ball and threw out Michaels to give Qualls his 24th save, but Qualls was helped off the field by trainers and will miss the final five weeks of the season. RHP Juan Gutierrez will likely get the most save opportunities in Qualls' absence, but has not officially been named the closer.  Both Qualls and Gutierrez came over from Houston in the trade involving former D-backs closer Jose Valverde.

--RHP Billy Buckner was recalled from Class AAA Reno to replace RHP Chad Qualls on the 25-man roster. Buckner has had a strong run at Reno since being sent down June 26. He is 9-3 with a 3.32 ERA and has made nine consecutive quality starts, including a four-hit shutout of Tacoma on July 31 in which he struck out 12. Buckner had 94 strikeouts in 99 innings at Reno and held opponents to a .236 batting average in his 16 starts. In an early season stint with the D-backs, Buckner was 2-5 with an 8.63 ERA in 10 games, seven starts, while attempting to fill in for RHP Brandon Webb.

--OF Justin Upton was a triple short of the cycle and is 12-for-25 in six games since returning from the disabled list (strained oblique) Aug. 26. He has homered in his last three games to get to 23 and also has had three doubles in that run. His hitting streak has reached nine games, including the final three before he went on the disabled list Aug. 6.

DIAMOND STAT: 2 -- Number of players in D-backs' history to hit 40 home runs in a season after 3B Mark Reynolds hit No. 40 on Saturday. OF Luis Gonzalez, who announced his retirement to join the D-backs' front office earlier that day, had 57 in 2001.

QUOTABLE:
"I've not really thought about it. I just go out there every day and sharpen my cleats, and I'm just able to hit a home run every now and then." -- D-backs third baseman Mark Reynolds, after hitting his 40th homer.


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