Kemp Muscles Up

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Matt Kemp can drive a baseball long distances, and with Andre Ethier, the two have kept the Dodgers (28-32) afloat.

Kemp struck in the first inning last Sunday against host Cincinnati with a two-run homer (16th) and powered the team to a 9-6 win.

Pitcher Chad Billingsley (5-4) homered and drove in three runs. On the mound, he gave up four runs (earned), eight hits, walked three, struck out three, and worked five innings.

On Saturday, the Dodgers rallied past the Reds, 11-8 in 11 innings as Kemp mashed a solo shot in the seventh and a grand slam in the eighth. Kemp (three hits with two runs scored) finished with a career-best six runs batted in.

Kemp was asked if he expected to hit the tying slam. “You don’t know,’’ he said. “That’s why you have to plug away. It’s a long season and when we’re all healthy we’re a very dangerous team.’’

Leadoff hitter Jamey Carroll had four hits with two runs and an RBI, and Aaron Miles accounted for three hits, three RBIs and two runs.

Clayton Kershaw scuffled through six and two-third innings, allowing six hits, six runs (earned), fanning nine with two walks, but had no decision.

Scott Rolen delivered two hits and drove in two for the Reds on Friday, as they won 2-1, spoiling a solid outing from Hiroki Kuroda (5-6), who gave up six hits over six innings.

Bronson Arroyo (4-5) got the win and gave up five hits and one run (earned) in six innings.

James Loney drove in Ethier (single and double) with a sacrifice fly in the fourth inning.

Ubaldo Jimenez was one of the National League’s top hurlers in 2010, but has run across injuries and bad luck.

For nine shutout innings at the Stadium on Wednesday, the Colorado Rockies’ pitcher had the Dodgers eating out of his hand as the right-hander came away with a 3-0 triumph.

Jimenez (1-5) allowed four hits, fanned seven with no walks, and Todd Helton drilled a solo homer in the fourth, while Carlos Gonzalez had a sacrifice fly.

Kemp (single and home run) had four RBIs versus the Rockies on Tuesday as the Dodgers were 8-2 victors.

Billingsley scattered 11 hits, whiffed eight with two walks, and one run (earned) over seven innings of Monday’s 7-1 win.

Loney (three hits and one run) and Ethier (two hits with one run) each had three RBIs for the Dodgers, who led 4-0 after three frames and then added three runs in the fifth.

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