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SD@LAD: Garland whiffs eight Padres in a gritty start

The beginning of a brief, but somewhat odd, road trip first brings the Brewers to Los Angeles on Monday.

Milwaukee, coming off a three-game sweep against the Pirates, travels to the West Coast this week for a short trip that includes two night games against the Dodgers and two night games against the Padres in San Diego.

It may mean trouble for the Brewers, who boast one of baseball's best home batting averages (.302 at Miller Park) but drop to just .218 away from Milwaukee.

"If you can figure that out, let me know," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "I've talked about the comfort level of different ballparks. If you have a good offensive park -- I played in Triple-A at Albuquerque -- every day I went to the ballpark and knew I was going to get one or two hits, at least. Every day, you walk in with a high feeling of what your offensive day is going to be. [Brewers players] have a huge advantage when they're at home."

From the confines of Dodger Stadium, the Los Angeles staff will hope to continue a nice stretch of starting pitching performances, all the while keeping the Brewers off the bases.

The Dodgers staff has put together six quality starts in its last seven outings (the outlier was Ted Lilly's four earned runs in six innings Sunday). In those last seven outings, the starters' ERA is 2.38.

"There's been a few days where we knew we were short out there in the bullpen, and kind of going into the game holding your breath, knowing if you get in trouble early you're in for a bad day," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We haven't been able to put runs up with any kind of regularity. ... But I think when you get this type of pitching, it's a good feeling, because I think your ball club knows that every day you go out there, every out is important, every hit and every run is important because they know they're keeping you in the game."

Jon Garland takes the hill Monday for Los Angeles, looking to continue that success in the rotation. He has thrown at least six innings in his last four starts and is 3-0 with a 2.15 ERA lifetime against Milwaukee.

Brewers: Marcum trying to break through
• Milwaukee's Shaun Marcum (4-1, 2.72 ERA) will look to extend late into his start on Monday after hitting a wall in the sixth inning of his last outing. He needed just 48 pitches through five scoreless before needing 41 more to record the next three outs on May 10 against the Padres. He is 1-0 with a 1.42 ERA in his career against the Dodgers.

• These four games are the Brewers' only road games during a stretch that sees them play 15 of 19 at home. Milwaukee was held to 17 runs on its last road trip, a 2-8 swing through Houston, Atlanta and St. Louis.

Dodgers: MacDougal strong when it counts
• Reliever Mike MacDougal (0-1, 1.35) threw a scoreless seventh on Sunday against the D-backs, recording two strikeouts. He has allowed just two hits with runners in scoring position (2-for-20) this season.

• This weekend's was the first home series the Dodgers dropped to the D-backs since being swept in a 3-game set Aug. 3-5, 2007.

• Andre Ethier went 0-for-4 on Sunday and did not reach base, snapping a streak of 37 consecutive games in which the Dodgers outfielder got aboard.

Worth noting
The odd road trip prompted Roenicke to reconfigure some specific travel plans. Zack Greinke, expected to start Friday at home against the Rockies, will head back to Milwaukee early to rest. "That's a rough trip," Roenicke said. The team is expected to arrive back in Milwaukee at about 5:30 a.m. Friday.

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