Young ignites Diamondbacks' offense as Dodgers fall in Arizona

PHOENIX -- Jon Garland had a nice debut as a National League pitcher, especially since it came against Arizona's biggest NL West rival.

"You kind of want to prove yourself to a new team," he said.

Garland threw seven strong innings and Chris Young went 3-for-3 with a home run Friday night when the Diamondbacks opened their weekend series with Los Angeles by beating the Dodgers 9-4.

Casey Blake had two-run homer for the Dodgers, who couldn't recover from Arizona's five-run third inning. Manny Ramirez singled twice and drove in a run.

Young ignited the big inning with a leadoff home run. He also doubled, singled and walked, scoring three times. After starting the season 1-for-12, Young was dropped to the No. 7 spot in the batting order.

"I'm not sure he was all that happy about it to begin with," Diamondbacks manager Bob Melvin said. "Before the game his batting practice was great. He wants to hit up in the order and he want out there and had a little extra in his tank today."

Young, though, insisted he wasn't upset.

"I'm used to bouncing around a little bit," he said. "It really doesn't bother me."

Conor Jackson drove in three runs with a pair of singles and Felipe Lopez had two RBIs as Arizona's offense came alive after scoring two runs combined the previous two games.

Garland (1-0), signed in the offseason to replace the departed Randy Johnson, allowed three runs on five hits in seven innings.

"He was wound up -- his first start at home in a D-backs uniform, you want to go out there and have a good performance," Melvin said. "It's the best arm speed we've seen. It's 90-91 [mph] where it normally is, but it looked like the ball was jumping out of his hand better than some of the spring training outings.

"That's what veteran guys do, when the season starts is they turn it up a notch."

Garland had spent his previous eight major league seasons in the American League, seven with the Chicago White Sox and last year with the Los Angeles Angels.

"This is a National League team, he's an American League pitcher," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said, "but he's a pro. He doesn't give in. He stays down. It looked like he had good stuff tonight. It looked like he had good command."

James McDonald (0-1) had control problems for the Dodgers and lasted just 2 1-3 innings in his first major league start.

He had not given up a run in his brief major league career, over 13 1-3 innings of relief counting last year's playoffs, before Young's home run just cleared the left field wall. Then everything fell apart for the 24-year-old right-hander.

He walked Garland and Lopez, then hit Eric Byrnes with his first pitch to load the bases. Stephen Drew followed with a walk to bring home Garland and put Arizona up 2-1. Jackson followed with a two-run single to right and McDonald's night was over.

"I fell behind hitters, walked guys. You can't do that, obviously," McDonald said. "I felt like I didn't give my team a good chance to win."

The Diamondbacks got one more in the inning on Chad Tracy's RBI sacrifice fly.

McDonald allowed five runs on two hits in 2 1-3 innings, but walked three and hit a batter.

Torre emphasized how inexperienced McDonald is.

"The first two innings he was very economical and mixed his pitches," Torre said. "When he walked Garland, I think he had him 0-and-2, and he sort of changed his tempo and started rushing a little bit. It looked like he started aiming it."

Blake's two-run homer off Garland in the seventh cut it to 6-3. Rafael Furcal led off the eighth with a double off reliever Tony Pena that hit well above the 407-foot sign in center, then scored on Ramirez's single to make it 6-4.

Left-hander Scott Schoeneweis came on to retire Andre Ethier and James Loney to end the rally. Arizona added three in the eighth on RBI singles by Augie Ojeda and Jackson and an RBI double by Lopez.

Game notes
Arizona RHP Tom Gordon threw 31 pitches to hitters before the game and said his surgically repaired right elbow felt better than anytime since before the 2006 All-Star game. He could be activated by May 1. ... Los Angeles beat Arizona in the teams' final five meetings last season. ... Young has had 18 career three-hit games but no four-hit ones.