Kemp leads Dodgers past Diamondbacks 4-2
Kemp hit a three-run homer, Dana Eveland(notes) pitched scoreless ball into the sixth inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 on Monday night for their fourth straight win.
Kemp connected against Daniel Hudson(notes) (16-12) in the first, hitting a drive to center for his NL-best 38th homer. Kemp also leads the NL with 123 RBIs and is third with a .324 batting average with two games left.
“(New York’s) Jose Reyes(notes) and (Milwaukee’s) Ryan Braun(notes) are two good hitters,” Kemp said of the two players ahead of him in the race for the batting title. “Those guys can hit so it’s going to be tough. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be.”
Los Angeles (81-78) moved three games over .500 for the first time this season.
“I’m proud of my guys,” Kemp said. “We’ve battled out there these last two months to get in that position. Hopefully we can win the next two games, too.”
Eveland (3-2) allowed five hits in 5 2-3 innings to snap a personal two-game losing streak and give the Dodgers their second straight win against the Diamondbacks after three straight losses in the season series.
“From 14 under (.500) to three above says a lot about the guys in that room who continue to play,” Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly said. “It’s really a sense of pride from the standpoint of the club’s still playing.”
The Diamondbacks, who had won four straight, remained one game behind Milwaukee for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Brewers lost 9-8 to Pittsburgh on Monday night.
Dee Gordon(notes) got the Dodgers off to a fast start with a leadoff double in the first. Jerry Sands(notes) then walked before Kemp hit a towering shot onto the walkway beyond the fence in center field.
“He made a mistake, a high changeup to Kemp, and that is not who you want to do it to,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “Other than that he pitched decent.”
Kemp extended his modest hitting streak to 10 games and moved into fourth place on the Los Angeles season RBI chart.
“Especially against Hudson, who’s a good pitcher and has had a great year, I had assumed it was going to be a battle the whole way,” Eveland said. “It ended up being that after that (the first) when he settled down.”
Goldschmidt came up the bases loaded in the eighth and struck out again. Mike MacDougal(notes) then walked pinch-hitter Geoff Blum(notes) to force home a run and trim Los Angeles’ lead to 4-2, but Gerardo Parra(notes) flied out to left to end the inning.
Hudson allowed four runs and five hits in seven innings. He has dropped his last three starts.
“I was on a roll,” said Hudson, who retired 15 straight batters after Kemp’s home run. “I was making good pitches. It was just a couple of bad calls and one bad pitch and we are down three runs.”
NOTES: Arizona’s five eighth-inning walks matched a club record reached four times previously, including July 30 in Los Angeles. … Sands singled in the eighth to extend his hitting streak to 14 games. … Diamondbacks RF Justin Upton(notes) was a late scratch one day after being hit in the head with a pitch. Upton was in Gibson’s original lineup but was scratched after batting practice. “I wasn’t feeling 100 percent and Gibby at this point wants me 100 percent when I step on the field so there was no question asked,” Upton said after the game. … Diamondbacks RHP Jarrod Parker(notes), who went 11-8 for the Double-A Mobile, will make his major league debut Tuesday night against the Dodgers RHP Hiroki Kuroda(notes). Kuroda, 2-5 in 10 career games against Arizona, will be making his career-best 32nd start.