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LAD@ARI: Greinke on picking up the win vs. D-backs

It's time for D-backs-Dodgers, part three.

The season is less than 20 games old, but this will already be the third time these National League West rivals will meet.

"It seems like it," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said on seemingly playing the D-backs every series. "Right now they've been scuffling and I hope we can keep them down a few more games."

That there have been so many games played against each other has certainly worked in the Dodgers' favor as they sport a perfect 5-0 mark against Arizona.

The two teams kicked off the Major League season against each other March 22 and 23 in Sydney, Australia. The Dodgers then visited Chase Field last weekend and swept the three-game series.

"They're a good team," D-backs pitcher Brandon McCarthy said. "We know it's a team that we can beat, we just need to start playing the way we're capable of. If we pitch better, if we do the things that we need to do, it's a competitive series and we're a team that can hang with them. If we go out and keep making mistakes that we've made and keep doing the things we've been doing, then we're set up for more of the same."

"They played very well, they pitched very well and they swung the bats very well," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said after the final game of the series. "They are playing good right now, and you got to tip your cap to them."

One player the D-backs are not looking forward to seeing again is first baseman Adrian Gonzalez.

Last weekend against the D-backs, Gonzalez was a one-man wrecking ball, going 7-for-13 with a double, three homers and 10 RBIs.

Zack Greinke will get the start in the opener. It will be his second straight outing against the D-backs, and he certainly hopes it goes as well as the first.

In that game, Greinke allowed just one run and did not walk a batter while fanning eight in 5 1/3 innings.

The Dodgers are coming off a series in which they they got three solid starts from Josh Beckett, Paul Maholm and Hyun-Jin Ryu. Arizona should be glad it doesn't face Ryu, who has 19 consecutive scoreless innings against it.

"We hope the starting pitching gives us some momentum," Mattingly said. "We get good outings and get the bullpen regulated the way we want."

Wade Miley, who started the season opener against the Dodgers and also squared off against Greinke last time, will start for the D-backs.

Miley has been the closest thing the D-backs have had to an ace this year, but he has yet to figure out a way to beat the Dodgers. In his first outing of the year against them, he allowed three runs in five innings. Last time out, he gave up five in five innings.

D-backs: Time to battle
There has been a lot of frustration in the Arizona clubhouse over the team's sluggish start, but Gibson has been pleased with the effort his team has put forth.

"I'll never give in to the 'we can't do it,'" Gibson said. "I'm not a quitter. We're not quitters."

Dodgers: Ramirez a game-day decision
Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez, struck on the back of the left hand by a Ryan Vogelsong fastball Wednesday night, missed Thursday's series finale in San Francisco, but was hopeful he'd be able to play Friday.

Mattingly said Ramirez wasn't even available to pinch-hit against the Giants because his hand was too painful to grip a bat.

Ramirez has a .294 lifetime average with a home run against Miley.

Worth noting:
• The Dodgers are 74-63 against the D-backs at Dodger Stadium.

• The D-backs were 10-9 against the Dodgers last year, but it was a tale of two halves. Arizona won seven of the first nine games between the two last year, with Los Angeles turning it around and winning seven of the final 10.

• This is the beginning of a 10-game homestand for the Dodgers, who will also take on the Phillies and Rockies.

• Gonzalez has a 12-game hitting streak for the Dodgers.

• Tim Federowicz had his first RBI of the season Thursday for L.A.

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