The Dodgers were long overdue for a win and Matt Kemp was long overdue for a home run, and the 12th inning at Dodger Stadium saw both on Wednesday afternoon. Kemp's walk-off home run gave the Dodgers a 5-3 win over the Phillies and snapped a four-game losing streak.
It was Kemp's first homer since April 30, snapping a homer-less drought of 71 plate appearances.
The Phillies loaded the bases in the 10th inning off Javy Guerra, who was activated from the bereavement list by the Dodgers after missing four games while with his family in Mexico after his father had open heart surgery.
That set the stage for Hunter Pence, who singled to shallow left field and scored Jimmy Rollins and Chase Utley, breaking a 1-1 tie. Pence also singled in the eighth inning on Tuesday night, turning a 2-1 deficit into a 3-2 Phillies win.
But the Dodgers scored twice in the 10th inning off closer Jonathan Papelbon, who was pitching for the third consecutive day and fourth in his last five days. The tying run came on an infield single by Kemp, who narrowly beat a strong throw from the hole at shortstop by Jimmy Rollins, allowing Bobby Abreu to score.
The struggling bullpens overshadowed a battle between starting pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee. Both former Cy Young Award winners were on top of their game.
Kershaw allowed one run on five hits in his eight innings, with seven strikeouts and no walks. But while he needed 120 pitches to get through his eight innings, Lee breezed through his eight innings in 89 pitches, also allowing one run.
After Lee retired the side in order on seven pitches in the first inning, his second pitch to leadoff man Juan Rivera in the second was hit just out of the reach John Mayberry Jr. in left field. The ball bounced off the top of the wall and into the pavilion for a solo home run and a 1-0 lead for the Dodgers.
Kershaw didn't allow a base hit through three innings, but Shane Victorino led off the fourth with a single and stole second base one out later. Carlos Ruiz, batting cleanup Wednesday in place of a resting Ryan Howard, followed with a single to center field, and Victorino narrowly beat the throw home to tie the game at 1-1.
Lee was pulled in favor of pinch hitter Jason Pridie with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, but Kenley Jansen got Pridie to pop out to end the inning. With Lee out of the game, the Dodgers were able to load the bases in the ninth inning. However, pinch hitter James Loney struck out to end the threat and send the game into extra innings.
NOTES: Before losing, the Phillies had an eight-game winning streak at Dodger Stadium, a franchise record. ... To make room for Guerra, the Dodgers optioned RHP Stephen Fife to Class AAA Albuquerque. Fife allowed one run in six innings on Tuesday night in his major league debut. ... The Phillies activated RHP Justin De Fratus, who had been sidelined since spring training with an elbow injury, from the 60-day disabled list Wednesday, and optioned him to Class AAA Lehigh Valley. ... LHP Ted Lilly will throw a bullpen session Friday in New York, his second time throwing off a mound since he was placed on the disabled list with left shoulder inflammation May 28.