|L.A. Dodgers (79-77) «||0||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||4||0|
|San Diego (68-89)||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||0|
SAN DIEGO -- Rather than feeling pressure, Matt Kemp is embracing his Triple Crown pursuit.
Kemp went hitless in his first two at-bats before he homered leading off the seventh inning to tie St. Louis' Albert Pujols for the NL lead with 37. Kemp, who leads the league with 119 RBI, went 1 for 4 to keep his average at .326. He picked up a point on Milwaukee's Ryan Braun, whose average dropped one point to .329 and into a tie with New York's Jose Reyes, who didn't play because of a rainout.
Kemp, who turned 27 on Friday, was asked if he was aware of his statistics.
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"No, no, I don't," he said deadpan. Then he smiled and added, "I do, I do. It is what it is. It's a fun experience and I'm just going to enjoy it."
But this night and the Dodgers' final five games belong to Kemp, who is attempting to be the major league's first Triple Crown winner since Boston's Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
The last player in the National League to pull off the feat was Ducky Medwick of St. Louis in 1937.
And if all that isn't enough, Kemp is just three homers shy of becoming only the fifth player in major league history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season.
"What we talked about all year long is get ready to play and play," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Don't give at-bats away, keep fighting and at the end of the year there are going to be a pile of numbers there because he focused."
His 426-foot home run off Wade LeBlanc (4-6) made it 2-0 in the seventh. Kemp had two hits in 15 at-bats against the left-handed LeBlanc before the homer.
"He's a Triple Crown candidate for a reason," LeBlanc said. "It's a pitch now that I'd like to have back. But he did a good piece of hitting. If you can hit one out to right-center field here, you've earned it."
Kemp is hitting .552 (16 for 29) during a seven-game hitting streak. During the run he has four homers and nine RBI.
"It felt pretty good," Kemp said of the homer. "He is someone you have to be pretty patient with. He mixes his pitches up pretty good."
Both Mattingly and Kemp spoke about the need for Kemp to continue doing what he has done and not try to change. Kemp said he has resisted the temptation to swing for home runs.
"I haven't did it the whole season and I'm not going to do it the last five games," Kemp said. "I'm not going to change it up. I just have to relax. When I try to hit home runs and hit too hard, I'm not too successful."
Said Mattingly: "It's been fine for him all year long, so I don't see making any changes as far as trying to lead him off to try to get him any more at-bats."
Guerra pitched the ninth for his 20th save in 21 chances as Los Angeles picked up its 17th shutout.
Los Angeles' Eugenio Velez went 0 for 3 with three strikeouts to tie a modern major-league record by going hitless in his last 45 at-bats. He tied Pittsburgh's Bill Bergen (1909), Dave Campbell of San Diego and St. Louis (1973) and Milwaukee's Craig Counsell this season.
"It's a little hard to watch," Mattingly said. "He's such a good kid. He works hard, he's a good teammate and he's not moping around here."
Lilly is 4-1 with a 1.89 ERA in six starts this season against San Diego. Lilly has allowed three runs or less in each of his last 10 outings.
LeBlanc allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings as he set a career-high with 10 strikeouts.
Rookie Jerry Sands extended his hitting streak to a career-high 11 games with a leadoff double in the second before he scored on Russell Mitchell's groundout.
The Dodgers (79-77) won for the 22nd time in 30 games as they moved two games above .500 for the first time since they were 6-4 on April 11.
|Matt Kemp has just one hit, but it's a homer, to tie Albert Pujols for the NL lead with 37. (Getty Images)|
|Players of the Game|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Dee Gordon, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.299|
|Justin Sellers, 3B||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.196|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||1||1||1||0||2||1||.326|
|Jerry Sands, RF||3||1||1||0||0||1||1||.249|
|Trent Oeltjen, LF||2||0||0||0||0||2||0||.209|
|Russ Mitchell, 1B||3||0||0||1||0||2||0||.167|
|Jamey Carroll, 2B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.286|
|Tim Federowicz, C||3||0||0||0||0||0||0||.200|
|Eugenio Velez, 2B||3||0||0||0||0||3||0||.000|
|Kenley Jansen, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Javy Guerra, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ted Lilly, P||2||0||0||0||0||1||0||.073|
|Mike MacDougal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- James Loney, PH-1B||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.288|
|a-flied out for MacDougal in the 8th|
|2B - Jerry Sands (14, LeBlanc)|
|HR - Matt Kemp (37, LeBlanc)|
|SH - Trent Oeltjen (4)|
|RBI - Matt Kemp (119), Russ Mitchell (3)|
|Team LOB - 1|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Ted Lilly (W,11-14)||6.1||4||0||0||2||7||0||4.12|
|Mike MacDougal (H,13)||0.2||0||0||0||1||1||0||2.11|
|Kenley Jansen (H,9)||1||0||0||0||0||3||0||2.98|
|Javy Guerra (S,20)||1||0||0||0||0||1||0||2.01|
|Pitches-Strikes - Ted Lilly 99-64, Mike MacDougal 16-7, Kenley Jansen 19-13, Javy Guerra 12-7|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Ted Lilly 5-7, Mike MacDougal 1-0, Javy Guerra 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Ted Lilly 25, Mike MacDougal 3, Kenley Jansen 3, Javy Guerra 3|
|San Diego Padres|
|Cameron Maybin, CF||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.265|
|Jason Bartlett, SS||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.251|
|Chris Denorfia, RF||4||0||1||0||0||3||3||.279|
|Nick Hundley, C||4||0||1||0||0||3||2||.288|
|Orlando Hudson, 2B||4||0||0||0||0||0||2||.241|
|Aaron Cunningham, LF||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.176|
|a- Will Venable, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.249|
|Alberto Gonzalez, 1B||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.214|
|Andy Parrino, 3B||1||0||0||0||1||1||0||.179|
|b- Kyle Blanks, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.229|
|Chase Headley, PR-3B||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.291|
|Wade LeBlanc, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.350|
|c- Jeremy Hermida, PH||0||0||0||0||1||0||0||.180|
|Ernesto Frieri, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Joe Thatcher, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Brad Brach, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a-flied out for Cunningham in the 9th|
|b-hit into fielder's choice for Parrino in the 7th|
|c-walked for LeBlanc in the 7th|
|2B - Nick Hundley (15, Lilly), Aaron Cunningham (6, Lilly)|
|SH - Wade LeBlanc (3)|
|Team LOB - 7|
|DP - Parrino-Hudson-Gonzalez|
|San Diego Padres|
|Wade LeBlanc (L,4-6)||7||4||2||2||0||10||1||4.83|
|Pitches-Strikes - Wade LeBlanc 88-63, Ernesto Frieri 6-6, Joe Thatcher 11-8, Brad Brach 12-9|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Wade LeBlanc 6-4, Ernesto Frieri 1-0, Joe Thatcher 1-1|
|Batters Faced - Wade LeBlanc 24, Ernesto Frieri 2, Joe Thatcher 2, Brad Brach 2|
|Attendance - 32658|
|Game Time - 2:43|
|Temperature - 67|
|Umpires - Home - Angel Hernandez, First Base - Todd Tichenor, Second Base - Gerry Davis, Third Base - Greg Gibson|