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Los Angeles at Washington

Scoreboard
L.A. Dodgers (77-72) «0033000017131
Washington (90-58)000000060690

Kemp HR helps Dodgers split DH

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Whatever might be ailing Matt Kemp -- and he's had left shoulder and right knee issues this season -- the rest of the Los Angeles Dodgers figure he'll need to carry them if the club is going to make the playoffs.

Kemp sure was right in the middle of things Wednesday against the Washington Nationals.

In a wild second game of a doubleheader, Kemp was ruled safe at home to give Los Angeles a six-run lead in the fourth even though TV replays clearly showed third baseman Ryan Zimmerman's head-over-heels lunging tag already had been applied to runner Adrian Gonzalez for the inning's final out.

After Washington used a six-run eighth to tie the score, Kemp led off the ninth with a go-ahead homer off closer Tyler Clippard, and the struggling Dodgers grabbed a 7-6 victory for a doubleheader split that prevented the Nationals from sewing up their first playoff berth since moving from Montreal in 2005.

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"I don't think he'll tell anybody, but I don't think he's feeling 100 percent," Gonzalez said about Kemp. "There are a couple things that are still lingering there, a little bit of pain. He's battling through it, and he's doing a great job of just playing through this and being the team leader that he is."

Still, even Kemp was willing to concede the phantom run the umpires said he scored should not have counted.

Washington Nationals manager Davey Johnson ("They obviously blew the call"), Zimmerman ("You can't just give out free runs in the big leagues") and catcher Jesus Flores ("Terrible call") were much more blunt about it.

"It looked pretty close. I actually probably should have been running just forward and not looking back. ... I don't know if I quite made it or not," Kemp said, before asking reporters whether they had seen a replay.

Informed that he should not have scored, Kemp said: "Actually, yeah, I don't think I did. But we got lucky right there. We stole a run."

That extra run really loomed large when the hosts -- who had won the opener 3-1 thanks largely to Jordan Zimmermann's six innings of one-run baseball - wound up sending 12 batters to the plate while scoring six runs in the eighth.

"At the time, I don't think anyone thought it was a really big deal, but it turned out to be a big deal," Zimmerman said. "It was 5-0, and they just make it 6-0."

Crew chief Mike Winters declined to comment.

"Calls like that, you never know when they're going to come back and kick you," said Washington's Michael Morse, who delivered a leadoff homer and a two-run single in the eighth.

The announced crowd of 26,931 was getting loud, perhaps anticipating a comeback and playoff-clinching victory, when Kemp drove an 0-2, elevated fastball from Clippard (2-5) over the wall in center for his 19th homer.

"I can't remember ever putting a ball in that spot and getting hurt like that in my whole career," said Clippard, who earned his 32nd save of the season in Game 1. "It's a tough one to swallow, but nothing I can do about it now."

Josh Beckett, who started Game 2 and threw seven scoreless innings before getting into trouble in the eighth, said Kemp will need to do well for the Dodgers to reach the postseason. Los Angeles is two games out of the last NL wild-card berth.

"I told him today, `We're going to jump on the train,"' Beckett said. "He's our guy."

Ronald Belisario (7-1) earned the win by getting the last two outs of the eighth inning. Brandon League picked up his third save with a hitless ninth.

Washington's victory in Game 1 was Los Angeles' ninth loss in 12 games -- and lowered the host's magic number for securing at least a wild-card spot to one. But the Nationals must wait at least another day to be certain of making the playoffs.

"We're not shooting for a playoff spot. We're shooting to win a division," Clippard said. "So regardless if we won tonight or not, that's not really where we want to be."

Beckett left in the eighth after allowing four runs -- three earned -- and five hits. By then, Johnson had pulled starters Jayson Werth, Zimmerman and Adam LaRoche -- Washington's Nos. 1-3-4 hitters.

While Beckett was terrific for a time, retiring 13 consecutive batters in one stretch, the Dodgers got to Nationals starter John Lannan almost from the outset. Making his second start since taking over Stephen Strasburg's slot in the rotation, Lannan looked little like the guy who entered the night 3-0 with a 2.41 ERA in the majors in 2012 -- and much more like the guy who spent most of the year at Triple-A Syracuse.

He was charged with three runs in each of the third and fourth innings, hurt by singles, walks and a hit batter. In all, Lannan lasted only 3 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits. He departed with the bases loaded in the fourth, giving way to Chien-Ming Wang, who had been out with a hip injury and missed about 2 1/2 months.

Wang's first pitch in a major league game since June 30 missed the mark completely. The wild pitch skipped past catcher Flores, allowing a run to score. The batter, Hanley Ramirez, eventually sent a grounder to Zimmerman, who flipped over and reached out to barely tag out Gonzalez. The umpires ruled that Kemp, who was running home from third on the play, crossed the plate in time to make it 6-0 - but he had not.

Johnson, in his words, "raised a fuss" with the umpires, to no avail.

"They all discussed it, and evidently nobody was paying attention," Johnson said. "Kemp wasn't running. He just wasn't running. The tag play was before. Obviously they missed it, but you'd think when the three of them got together somebody would've been paying attention that Kemp was not at home."

Notes

  • Zimmermann (11-8) got the win in Game 1; Aaron Harang (9-10) took the loss.
  • Nationals CF Bryce Harper made a twisting, over-the-shoulder catch with his back to the infield on a drive to the deepest part of the park by Shane Victorino leading off the sixth inning in Game 2.
  • Victorino stole two bases in Game 1 to raise his season total to 37, tying a career high.
  • Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said LHP Clayton Kershaw was OK after getting hit in the dugout during the game by Ramirez's broken bat.
 
Copyright 2014 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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Adrian Gonzalez awaits Matt Kemp, who provides the go-ahead HR in the ninth as well as a phantom run in the fourth. (AP)
Adrian Gonzalez awaits Matt Kemp, who provides the go-ahead HR in the ninth as well as a phantom run in the fourth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

M. Kemp
AB 4
R 3
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
Washington

M. Morse
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 3
 
Los Angeles Dodgers
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Mark Ellis, 2B5110004 .265
Shane Victorino, LF4110012 .251
Matt Kemp, CF4322111 .304
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B4120101 .291
Hanley Ramirez, SS5013011 .254
Andre Ethier, RF5021011 .288
Luis Cruz, 3B5020013 .300
Matt Treanor, C4120001 .182
Josh Beckett, P3000013 .059
    Randy Choate, P0000000 .000
    Ronald Belisario, P0000000 .000
    Brandon League, P0000000 .000
Totals39713626  
Batting
2B - Shane Victorino (26, Lannan), Luis Cruz (19, Lannan)
HR - Matt Kemp (19, Clippard)
SH - Josh Beckett (1)
RBI - Matt Kemp 2 (58), Hanley Ramirez 3 (90), Andre Ethier (85)
2-OUT RBI - Matt Kemp (16), Hanley Ramirez 3 (27), Andre Ethier (44)
SB - Adrian Gonzalez (2, 2nd base off Clippard/Flores)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Ellis-H. Ramirez-Gonzalez
E - Adrian Gonzalez (5, Misplayed grounder)
Los Angeles Dodgers
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Josh Beckett 7.1543022 4.88
Randy Choate0222000 3.13
Ronald Belisario (BS,4; W,7-1) 0.2200010 2.27
Brandon League (S,12) 1000010 3.41
HBP - Desmond (by Ronald Belisario)
Pitches-Strikes - Josh Beckett 82-54, Randy Choate 6-3, Ronald Belisario 13-8, Brandon League 12-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Josh Beckett 11-9, Ronald Belisario 1-0, Brandon League 2-0
Batters Faced - Josh Beckett 27, Randy Choate 2, Ronald Belisario 5, Brandon League 3
Washington Nationals
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Jayson Werth, RF3000001 .296
    Zach Duke, P0000000 .000
   a- Roger Bernadina, PH0000000 .296
   b- Mark DeRosa, PH-3B2110000 .176
Bryce Harper, CF4111010 .262
Ryan Zimmerman, 3B2000000 .285
    Chad Tracy, 3B1000000 .288
   c- Danny Espinosa, PH-2B1010000 .253
Adam LaRoche, 1B3010000 .270
    Tyler Moore, 1B1000013 .269
Michael Morse, LF4123001 .287
Ian Desmond, SS3110000 .293
Stephen Lombardozzi, 2B4112003 .278
    Tyler Clippard, P0000000 .000
Jesus Flores, C4000000 .220
John Lannan, P1000010 .143
    Chien-Ming Wang, P0000000 .000
   d- Corey Brown, PH-RF3110010 .217
Totals3669604  
a-announced for Duke in the 8th
b-singled for Bernadina in the 8th
c-singled for Tracy in the 8th
d-doubled for Wang in the 6th
Batting
2B - Corey Brown (2, Beckett)
HR - Michael Morse (14, Beckett), Stephen Lombardozzi (3, Beckett)
RBI - Bryce Harper (51), Michael Morse 3 (52), Stephen Lombardozzi 2 (25)
2-OUT RBI - Michael Morse 2 (17)
Team LOB - 4
Washington Nationals
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
John Lannan 3.2866230 4.43
Chien-Ming Wang 2.1200010 6.92
Zach Duke 2100010 1.35
Tyler Clippard (L,2-5) 1211011 3.22
HBP - Victorino (by John Lannan)
WP - Chien-Ming Wang (3), Tyler Clippard (3)
Pitches-Strikes - John Lannan 76-43, Chien-Ming Wang 32-23, Zach Duke 24-18, Tyler Clippard 21-16
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - John Lannan 6-2, Chien-Ming Wang 4-2, Zach Duke 1-4
Batters Faced - John Lannan 22, Chien-Ming Wang 9, Zach Duke 7, Tyler Clippard 5
Game Information
Attendance - 26931
Game Time - 2:58
Temperature - 66
Umpires - Home - Al Porter, First Base - Mike Winters, Second Base - Mark Wegner, Third Base - Clint Fagan