Jon Garland(notes) is just one of the many San Diego Padres starters who appear capable of throwing a no-hitter. The Los Angeles Dodgers certainly know just how much of an asset he can be to a rotation.
The Padres, who came close to getting a perfect game in their last contest, hope Garland can win his fifth straight start Friday night as he faces the Dodgers for the first time since leaving as a free agent in the offseason.
San Diego (22-12) leads the majors with a 2.61 ERA, helping it take a 3 1/2-game lead in the NL West over San Francisco.
The right-hander threw a one-hitter with no walks, allowing a sixth-inning infield single that deflected off him, and drove in the lone run. All five San Diego starters have an ERA below 4.00.
The Padres concluded a 5-1 trip and are now opening a five-game stretch at home, where they have a 2.01 ERA.
Garland (4-2, 1.71) is 2-0 with a 0.47 ERA in three starts at Petco Park and has posted a 0.67 ERA in winning his last four outings overall. The veteran right-hander gave up two hits in seven scoreless innings of a 2-1 win over Houston on Saturday night.
“Garland has done a heck of a job,” Los Angeles manager Joe Torre told the Dodgers’ official website. “He’s a good guy to settle down a young staff. He’s simple: ‘Just give me the ball.’”
Garland pitched well in six starts for the Dodgers after being acquired from Arizona in August, going 3-2 with a 2.72 ERA to help them win the NL West. He is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in two starts against Los Angeles.
The Dodgers (17-17) are giving a spot start to Ramon Ortiz(notes) (1-1, 5.16), who has made 14 appearances out of the bullpen. This is the right-hander’s first start since May 26, 2007, with Minnesota, and he spent 2008 in Japan and 2009 in Triple-A.
“It’s been a long time, almost two years,” Ortiz said. “I’m a very positive guy. I knew I could do this, being back in the big leagues.”
Ortiz is 1-2 with a 4.74 ERA in three starts against the Padres.
Los Angeles has a 2.00 ERA in winning a season-high four straight. The Dodgers completed a three-game sweep in Arizona with a 6-3 win Wednesday night.
It was the first sweep of the year for Los Angeles, which is 7-11 on the road.
Manny Ramirez(notes) drove in three runs for the Dodgers on Wednesday and is batting .333 in five games since coming off the disabled list. Ramirez is 2 for 24 (.083) in his last nine games against the Padres, but he’s 14 for 27 (.519) with three homers and four doubles versus Garland.