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|Matt Kemp wasn’t supposed to last long in his return to Los Angeles. He was tabbed as trade bait after arriving from Atlanta in exchange for a salary dump by the Dodgers. The 33-year-old slugger has made himself at home again in a hurry.
Kemp got three hits and drove in four runs Falcons Elite Jerseys , including a go-ahead homer leading off the eighth inning that rallied the Dodgers past the Colorado Rockies 6-4 on Sunday to prevent a sweep and end a three-game skid.
Kemp is on track to earn his third All-Star nod and first since 2012. He’s the second-leading vote-getter, ahead of Washington’s Bryce Harper, among NL outfielders.
”That’s what the All-Star Game is, having a good first half,” Kemp said. ”My real focus is trying to get to the playoffs and win a championship, something I’ve never done.”
Kemp was 1 for 6 in the first two games of the series, which the Dodgers lost by identical scores of 3-1. He has been solid in his last 14 games against Colorado, batting .438 with 11 RBIs.
”He showed in spring training he was in shape and was hitting from the start,” Dodgers starter Ross Stripling said.
Kemp sent his 14th homer of the season over the center-field wall off Adam Ottavino (4-2) to put Los Angeles ahead 5-4. It was the Dodgers’ first homer of July after they hit a major league-leading and franchise-record 55 in June.
One out later, Yasiel Puig doubled. Joc Pederson followed and reached on an infield single to second that DJ LeMahieu dived to stop. Puig made a heads-up baserunning play when he scored an insurance run after taking an extra base on Pederson’s hit.
Puig took advantage of LeMahieu’s soft throw from his knees to first baseman Ian Desmond.
”DJ slipped,” Rockies manager Bud Black said. ”If DJ wanted to do it over again he would probably give a firmer throw to Desmond to get it back in.”
Puig hopped back and forth before taking off for the plate, sliding belly first. He got up and swung his arms in wild celebration with the Dodgers ahead 6-4.
”I do my crazy move and score,” Puig said. ”I said in my mind, `He’s not going to throw me out, I’m going home.’ Not too many players who score from third base in that situation.”
Kemp agreed, saying, ”Everyone is living right.”
Kemp drove in the Dodgers’ first three runs with an RBI groundout in the first, a double in the third and a single in the fifth.
Daniel Hudson (3-2) went one inning. Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his 22nd save.
Nolan Arenado hit his team-leading 21st homer and had an RBI grounder, helping the Rockies take a 4-2 lead in the fifth.
Rockies starter Chad Bettis was pulled after three innings because of fluid underneath a callus on his right middle finger. The right-hander allowed two runs and three hits, struck out two and walked two in his shortest outing of the season.
”It is really painful,” Bettis said. ”It is kind of something that is a little bit of a mental block trying to battle through that pain. I felt like it got to the point where I really needed to say something.”
Stripling gave up four runs and a season-high nine hits in six innings. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one.
Rockies: RHP Bryan Shaw (right calf strain) will throw a bullpen session on Monday and simulated game on Wednesday. He is working on mechanics with his delivery and more consistent pitch locations.
Rockies: LHP Kyle Freeland (7-6, 3.29 ERA) makes his second straight start against the Giants on Monday in the home opener of a three-game set. He is 3-1 with a 2.91 ERA at Coors Field in his career against them.
Dodgers: LHP Alex Wood (4-5, 4.00) starts on Monday in the opener of a three-game series against the Pirates. In eight games (seven starts) against them, Wood is 2-2 with a 2.86 ERA.
DENVER — When Andrew Suarez starts Wednesday for the San Francisco Giants, he will try to help them avoid being swept by the Colorado Rockies and solidify his spot in the Giants’ changing rotation.
Colorado left-hander Tyler Anderson (5-3, 4.23 ERA) will oppose Suarez (3-4, 4.18).
Before his team lost 8-1 on Tuesday to the Rockies, Giants manager Bruce Bochy announced that Johnny Cueto will be reinstated from the 60-day disabled list to start Thursday against St. Louis and Jeff Samardzija will come off the 10-day disabled list and start Saturday against the Cardinals.
Cueto (elbow strain) went 3-0 with an 0.84 ERA in five starts for the Giants this season. His last start for the Giants came April 28 Bills Elite Jerseys , and he pitched 7 2/3 scoreless innings in two rehab starts for Triple-A Sacramento.
“Johnny’s set to go,” Bochy said. “He passed all the tests, checked every box off. Been throwing the ball well. Hasn’t given up a run there. Bullpen (session Monday) went fine. Been hitting, bunting. I talked to Johnny. He said, ‘I’m ready to go. I feel better now than before (the injury).’ When you get one of your big guys ready to go, you pitch him.”
Bochy said Cueto would be limited to 85 pitches Thursday, and Derek Holland, if he doesn’t come out of the bullpen in the Rockies series, would back up Cueto.
Samardzija will pitch for the Giants for the first time since May 29. Bochy said that Dereck Rodriguez, who was scheduled to pitch Thursday, will instead start Friday. Madison Bumgarner, of course, will take his regular turn Sunday. That leaves Suarez or Chris Stratton for the final spot in the rotation. Both pitchers have minor league options.
Suarez might have the advantage because he has pitched well lately. He went 2-0 in six June starts, and in his last outing Friday at Arizona, he allowed one run in six innings. Suarez made his Coors Field debut and first start against the Rockies on May 28 and allowed four runs (three earned) in five innings in a no-decision after heeding advice from catcher Buster Posey.
Suarez said, “I remember the last time we were, before my bullpen, Buster came up to me and he was like ‘As long as you keep throwing it right, it’ll be fine. But if you try too much, that’s the problem you’ll have. Your stuff isn’t as good.’ I just made sure to just throw it normal.”
Meanwhile, Stratton gave up a career-high 11 hits and a career-high eight runs in 5 2/3 innings Tuesday. In his past six starts, Stratton is 1-3 with a 5.79 ERA.
Anderson threw a career-high eight scoreless innings with one walk and eight strikeouts Wednesday at Los Angeles in a 3-1 win over the Dodgers. Anderson is 2-2 with a 2.70 ERA in his past five starts with six walks and 32 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings. He’s 0-2 with a 5.56 ERA in four career starts against the Giants, including a no-decision May 20 at AT&T Park where he gave up five runs in 5 1/3 innings as the Rockies lost 9-5.
The Rockies have won 14 of their past 16 games from the Giants (45-42) at Coors Field. The Rockies (43-43) have climbed back to .500 by winning five of their past six games. They have been getting outstanding starting pitching, the latest effort being seven scoreless innings Tuesday from Antonio Senzatela in his first start this season for the Rockies.
The Colorado starters have pitched well in six of the past eight games, going 4-0 with a 2.15 ERA in that stretch and allowing 12 earned runs and 31 hits in 50 1/3 innings with 11 walks and 41 strikeouts.
“We’re only going to go as far as they do,” Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado said. “They’re pitching great. They’re giving the offense a chance. Quick innings, which is huge.”
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