Los Angeles at Arizona

L.A. Dodgers
W: H. Kuo (3-1) L: A. Heilman (2-3)
S: J. Broxton (17)
HR: LA - M. Kemp (15)   ARI - None

Kemp's late two-run homer sends Dodgers past Diamondbacks

CBSSports.com wire reports

PHOENIX -- The late-inning relievers of the Los Angeles Dodgers are among the best in baseball. The Arizona Diamondbacks? Well, they have problems.

When Sunday's game was left in the hands of the bullpens, the results were predictable.

Matt Kemp hit an opposite-field, two-run homer off reliever Aaron Heilman (2-3) in the eighth inning and the Dodgers went on to win 3-1 and take two of three from the Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers' Chad Billingsley and Arizona's Dan Haren each allowed one run in their matchup. Billingsley left after six innings, and Haren after seven.

Hong-Chi Kuo (3-1) struck out six of the seven batters he faced in two scoreless innings to get the victory. Chris Young's eighth-inning double was only the third hit against Kuo in 31 at-bats by NL West batters this season. Kuo, left off the All-Star roster despite a 1.03 ERA, struck out three batters on 11 pitches in the seventh inning.

"Ability-wise and the year he has had, he certainly deserved it," manager Joe Torre said of the All-Star snub, "but there are so many players that were left off that team you really can't do anything about it."

Jonathan Broxton, an All-Star for the second year in a row, fanned two in a scoreless ninth for his 17th save in 19 opportunities.

Los Angeles went 5-1 on a trip to San Francisco and Arizona to improve to 23-6 against NL West foes overall.

Kemp ruined a brilliant no-decision effort by Haren for the second time. He had the winning home run in a 1-0, 10-inning victory against the Diamondbacks in Los Angeles June 1.

Haren, subject of some trade speculation, has grown accustomed to seeing the bullpen falter.

"I don't really worry about the bullpen too much. I am proud of what the starters have done so far," he said. "We have four guys on pace to throw more than 200 innings, which you don't see on many ballclubs. I am proud of the way we have come out game after game. Wins are hard to come by. It hasn't been easy to win games. By no means are the starters mad at the relievers. It is a long season and you have to have each other's backs."

Torre had benched the slumping Kemp for three games before putting him back in the lineup when Manny Ramirez was injured in San Francisco on Tuesday night. Since then, Kemp is 9 for 22 with three home runs and seven RBI.

"He just looks a little quieter at the plate," Torre said. "He doesn't look as jumpy. He doesn't look so anxious at the plate."

Kemp agreed.

"At times, I'm still going in my mode where I'm a little bit too aggressive and swing at some bad pitches here and there," he said. "Other than that, I've been more relaxed, getting in better counts and getting better pitches to hit."

Diamondbacks batters matched their season worst by striking out 16 times in Kirk Gibson's third game as interim manager following the firing of A.J. Hinch. With 761 for the season, they are on pace to smash the major league strikeout record. Eight of the last nine Arizona outs came via strikeout.

"We are trying to address that. We are trying to get people to make adjustments," Gibson said. "... You can't just click your fingers and it happens overnight. We made them aware of that. They know it, but a lot of that is a mentality as much as a mechanic. You strike out and people talk about it and it prints a bad image. The biggest problem is we need to change our self-picture, the way we see ourselves. It will take some time."

Billingsley scattered seven hits, struck out eight and walked one. Haren gave up six hits, struck out four and walked two. The one run allowed matched Haren's second-best outing of the season.

The Diamondback went up 1-0 in the fourth. Adam LaRoche led off with a double to the right-field corner, then Mark Reynolds brought him home with a triple off the wall above the 407-foot sign in center field. It was the first triple of the season for Reynolds, who was dropped to the No. 7 spot in the batting order.

Reynolds was stranded when Billingsley struck out Gerardo Parra, Haren and Kelly Johnson. Johnson fanned one pitch after hitting a shot just outside the foul pole in right field.

Los Angeles tied it in the sixth after Rafael Furcal led off with a double. Matt Kemp struck out, then Andre Ethier got a base hit to right to bring home Furcal. LaRoche, the first baseman, cut off Justin Upton's throw and caught Kemp trying to take second.

  • Furcal went 1 for 3 to snap a streak of seven consecutive multi-hit games. It was the Dodgers' longest such streak since Tommy Davis did it in September 1962.
  • Los Angeles plays 14 of its next 18 at home.
  • Ethier and Young were named to the All-Star game for the first time. Broxton made it for the second year in a row.
Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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After his two-run shot in the eighth, Matt Kemp is greeted in the dugout by manager Joe Torre. (AP)
After his two-run shot in the eighth, Matt Kemp is greeted in the dugout by manager Joe Torre. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

M. Kemp
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

D. Haren
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 1
BB 2
K 4

Related Video

Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS3210111 .338
Matt Kemp, CF4122011 .268
Andre Ethier, RF4011002 .320
James Loney, 1B3020100 .305
Casey Blake, 3B4000003 .261
Xavier Paul, LF3000012 .281
   a- Reed Johnson, PH-LF1010000 .282
Blake DeWitt, 2B2010101 .272
    Hong-Chih Kuo, P0000000 .000
   b- Ronnie Belliard, PH1000001 .235
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
A.J. Ellis, C4000022 .200
Chad Billingsley, P2010000 .179
    Jamey Carroll, 2B1000000 .289
a-doubled for Paul in the 9th
b-grounded out for Kuo in the 9th
2B - Rafael Furcal (13, Haren), James Loney (23, Haren), Reed Johnson (8, Norberto)
HR - Matt Kemp (15, Heilman)
RBI - Matt Kemp 2 (47), Andre Ethier (49)
CS - James Loney (4, 2nd base by Haren/Montero), Reed Johnson (2, Home by Norberto/Montero)
Team LOB - 5
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley 6711180 4.06
Hong-Chih Kuo (W,3-1) 2100060 1.03
Jonathan Broxton (S,17) 1000020 2.02
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 111-76, Hong-Chih Kuo 32-22, Jonathan Broxton 11-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 7-3, Jonathan Broxton 1-0
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 26, Hong-Chih Kuo 7, Jonathan Broxton 3
Arizona Diamondbacks
Kelly Johnson, 2B4010021 .264
Stephen Drew, SS3010111 .268
Justin Upton, RF4000033 .260
Miguel Montero, C4020021 .394
Chris Young, CF4010005 .264
Adam LaRoche, 1B4110021 .251
Mark Reynolds, 3B4011020 .221
Gerardo Parra, LF4010011 .256
Dan Haren, P3000022 .408
    Aaron Heilman, P0000000 .000
    Jordan Norberto, P0000000 .000
   a- Tony Abreu, PH1000010 .241
a-struck out for Norberto in the 9th
2B - Chris Young (20, Kuo), Adam LaRoche (18, Billingsley)
3B - Mark Reynolds (1, Billingsley)
RBI - Mark Reynolds (54)
Team LOB - 8
Outfield Assists - Justin Upton 1
DP - Johnson-LaRoche
Arizona Diamondbacks
Dan Haren 7611240 4.38
Aaron Heilman (L,2-3) 1222101 3.72
Jordan Norberto 1100010 6.75
Pitches-Strikes - Dan Haren 120-82, Aaron Heilman 26-15, Jordan Norberto 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dan Haren 8-6, Aaron Heilman 3-0, Jordan Norberto 1-0
Batters Faced - Dan Haren 26, Aaron Heilman 6, Jordan Norberto 3
Game Information
Attendance - 26517
Game Time - 2:57
Temperature - 77
Umpires - Home - Paul Emmel, First Base - Bill Hohn, Second Base - Gary Darling, Third Base - Bruce Dreckman