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SF@ARI: McCarthy strikes out four over 6 2/3 innings

The Dodgers and D-backs opened the season Down Under, and now they are back in downtown Phoenix on familiar ground.

Let the games begin.

Again.

The D-backs will send Brandon McCarthy to the mound Friday in the first of three games against their National League West rival. The Dodgers will counter with Hyun-Jin Ryu.

Anything can happen when these two teams get together.

This is what we know: The Dodgers clinched the NL West title and celebrated in the pool beyond right field when they last set foot on Chase Field in September. The D-backs' most recent memories at home are just as forgettable.

Arizona won its home opener against San Francisco before dropping the next two games against the Giants. The road trip that followed was not kind to the D-backs, and now they sit in fourth place in the NL West.

What's more, the Dodgers defeated the D-backs twice in Australia in the Opening Series.

Will this be the series that propels the Dodgers back to the top of the division, or will it be the set that gets the D-backs back on track?

Ryu is coming off a rough outing that saw him give up six runs on eight hits in two-inning start against the Giants. He shut down the D-backs, allowing only two hits in five scoreless innings at the Sydney Cricket Ground in the second game of the season.

As for McCarthy, it's been an interesting -- and frustrating -- start to the season. The right-handed veteran is healthy and strong but has run into some bad luck. He pitched well and showed good velocity through six innings against the Giants before unraveling in his season debut. He seemed to be cruising in his next start in Colorado before the Rockies broke it open in the fourth and fifth innings.

"I just kind of lost feel," McCarthy said. "I stopped executing pitches the way I had been. I really don't know what happened. I just sort of lost feel for my sinker and started to really struggle with that command-wise."

The D-backs need McCarthy to deliver because they can't afford to have another short outing from one of their starters. Wade Miley, who is scheduled to Saturday, has pitched like an ace this season and has led his team to its first two wins. He'll face Zack Greinke.

Dodgers: Injured Wilson continues making progress
Right-handed reliever Brian Wilson, who's had two rehab outings, threw 20 pitches in live BP to teammates Justin Turner and Chone Figgins on Wednesday.

"The ball came out good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "We'll see how he comes out of that."

Wilson was placed on the disabled list because of right ulnar nerve inflammation.

Mattingly said Wilson should come back on or shortly after he's eligible to return Tuesday if he doesn't have any setbacks.

D-backs: Collmenter may be next in line if rotation changes
Last weekend, GM Kevin Towers mentioned Bo Schultz, Archie Bradley and Mike Bolsinger as possible starting candidates should the team dip into the Minor Leagues for help this year.

For now, though, the first choice appears to be long man Josh Collmenter if the team makes a change in the starting rotation.

"Personally, I'd like to see the guys in the Minor Leagues, I'd like to see them throw another time or two down there and establish certain things," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's a lot different up here. It just really is. There are so many other elements of the game."

Worth noting
• D-backs left fielder Mark Trumbo has five homers and 13 RBIs through the first 12 games of the season.

• Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig was out of the starting lineup for the third consecutive game Wednesday, but he was able to take batting practice with a splint on his thumb. He injured his left thumb sliding into first base in Saturday's game.

• The D-backs posted a 10-9 record against the Dodgers last season but were outscored, 83-77.

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