Beastmode was back in business at Petco Park in San Diego for the Dodgers. Matt Kemp had four hits, going 4 for 4 with two singles, a double, and a huge two run home run, to back Aaron Harang, and lead the Dodgers to an 8-2 victory over the Padres. The win keeps the Dodgers alive in the NL Wild Card Race for one more day. The Dodger offense exploded today, and Matt Kemp was the leader. After all Kemp has always hit well against San Diego. Against the Padres he is now hitting .407 with seven home runs, 24 hits, and 19 RBI.
The Boys in Blue scored eight runs on 14 hits. Five Dodgers had a multi-hit game today. Nick Punto (another San Diego native) inserted into the lineup because Mark Ellis came down with the flu, collected three hits, and scored four runs. Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez, and Juan Rivera all had two hits. The Dodgers scored two runs in the top of the first when they collected four consecutive hits off of Opposing starter Lefty Clayton Richard. Hanley, and Gonzalez each knocked in a run with run scoring singles. The Dodgers would score a run in the third, three runs in the fourth, and two runs in the top of the sixth. Gonzalez added another RBI single in the third. Matt Kemp had a two-RBI double in the fourth, and a huge two-run blast over the center field wall in the sixth. Juan Rivera would add a solo home run of his own, his eighth of the season.
That was plenty of offense for Harang, who pitched ok. Harang was removed after 5.1 innings, he allowed no runs on four hits, but walked four. He also whiffed three, while making 100 pitches. The Dodgers used four relievers )Shawn Tolleson, Randy Choate, Matt Guerrier, and Jamey Wright to pitch the final 3.2 innings) Harang picks up his tenth win of the season to even his books at 10-10. Ironically the Big Show used to pitch for the Padres, and lives in San Diego.
Opposing starter and well known annoying thorn in the Dodger’s side didn’t factor at all in this game. Richard was 6-2 against the Dodgers coming into today’s game, but he was hit hard. Richard never made it out of the fourth frame, allowing six runs, (four earned) on ten hits. He walked none, and whiffed only two.
Clayton Richard begins the game by whiffing Elian Herrera. Nick Punto singles to right. Matt Kemp, and Adrian Gonzalez reach base on consecutive singles to score a run. Kemp’s base hit a blooper into center, sends Punto to third. Gonzalez’s single up the middle scores Punto, to give the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. Hanley Ramirez immediately follows with a single into left to score Bison, and the Dodgers lead 2-0! The Dodgers score two runs on four consecutive hits. Luis Cruz smokes a line drive to short, Everth Cabrera makes a leaping catch, and turns to fire to second, but his throw is wide. Gonzalez, and Ramirez both advance to second and third on the Cabrera error. Juan Rivera lines out to third, and the inning is over. Dodgers lead 2-0.
The Big Show, Aaron Harang, back at Petco. Everth Cabrera flies out to center. Logan Forsythe flies out to right. Chase Headley is walked. Yasmani Grandal hits a liner right back to Harang, who snares it around his feet for the third out.
The top of the second goes a lot smoother for Richard then the first frame. Matt Treanor grounds out to shortstop. Harang a broken bat grounder for the second out. Herrera rolls out to third to end the inning. Harang gets two quick outs to start the bottom of the second. Yonder Alonso, and Will Venable both ground out. Then Jesus Guzman walks. But Cameron Maybin pops out.
Punto leads off the top of the third with an infield single to shallow third base. Headley charges in to make a bare handed throw, and Punto beats it with his signature head first slide into first. Kemp’s little dribbler advances Punto to secO.D. Gonzalez’s bloop single to left falls a few feet inside the line to plate Punto. 3-0 Blue. Hanley hits a line drive to Forsythe, who makes a diving glove stop, but the ball bounces off and rolls a few feet away. Gonzalez moves over to third. Cruz grounds into a double play to end the frame. Forsythe makes a nice stop to start the double play. Bottom of the third. Richard grounds out. Cabrera walks. Forsythe loops out to Hanley. Headley flies out to deep left to end the frame.
Juan Rivera leads off the top of the fourth with a solo home run to left. The blast is his eighth of the season. The Dodgers now lead 4-0. Treanor sends a long drive to deep left, that Guzman should have caught at the warning track, but his route he takes is poor, and he can’t catch it. Treanor ends up at second base, on what is ruled a two-base error. Harang tries to bunt, and fails, striking out. Herrera pops out for the second out. Then the wheels fall off for Richard and the Padres. Punto reaches on an infield single to short, after the ball rolls into no-man’s land. Treanor moves over to third. Kemp plates both runners with his line drive double off the top of the center field wall. The Dodgers now lead 6-0. Bud Black is forced to hook Richard with two outs in the top of the fourth.
Righty Nick Vincent comes in to replace Richard, and gets Gonzo to ground out to end the frame. The Dodgers score three runs, and lead 6-0. Harang retires the Padres in order in the bottom of the fourth. Whiffing Venable for his second whiff.
Vincent somewhat restores order in the top of the fifth. Hanley, and Cruz both fly out. Rivera singles. Vincent uncorks a wild pitch, that advances Rivera to second. Treanor grounds out to end the frame.
Harang whiffs Guzman to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Maybin walks. Alexi Amarista pinch-hits for Vincent’s spot, and grounds out. The grounder moves Maybin over to second. Cabrera a ground ball chopper single to shortstop sends Maybin to third. Hanley tried to make a throw, but it looked like he couldn’t get the ball out of his glove, and his throw is late. Forsythe flies out to left to end the inning.
In the Dodger’s top of the sixth, Aaron Harang leads off with a double off of Anthony Bass. The Big Show hustles into second base standing up. If you have never seen the big show hustling into second base, you should. Chariots of the gods man. Anyways, Herrera whiffs. Punto’s routine grounds is hit in FRONT of Harang. When that happens, and you are on second base with less than two outs, and nobody at first base, you are supposed to stay at second base. Harang of course is a pitcher, and he’s the big show, and he tries to go to third, and is tagged out on the Tootblan. But with Punto safe at first on the fielder’s choice, Kemp blasts a two-run shot over the center field wall to give the Dodgers an 8-0 lead. That’s Kemp’s 20th homer of the season. That gives him four straight years of 20+ home runs. Gonzalez grounds out to end the frame.
Bottom of the sixth. Harang remains in the game. Headley grounds out. Grandal a base hit up the middle. Yonder Alonso a flare single to left. Venable a line drive single to center loads the bases. Don Mattingly hooks Harang, and brings in Shawn Tolleson. Tolleson immediately whiffs Guzman. Jesus tries to argue that he foul tipped the ball, but to no avail. Maybin pops out to Punto for the third out of the frame. The score remains 8-0 Dodgers.
Bass retires the Dodgers in order 123 in the top of the seventh. Tolleson in his second inning of work, walks Andy Parrino, but whiffs Cabrera. Forsythe’s force out is the second out. Headley doubles over Kemp’s head to the wall in center field. Forsythe scores, and the Padres are on the board. Tolleson serves up another hit, an Alonso RBI single, which makes the score 8-2 Dodgers. Mattingly has to hook Choate, and he comes in and whiffs Alonso to get the Dodgers out of the inning.
Brad Boxberger comes in to pitch the top of the eighth for San Diego. Treanor whiffs. Tim Federwowicz, pinch-hits for Choate and walks. Herrera grounds into an inning ending double play. Matt Guerrier comes in to pitch a scoreless bottom of the eighth. Venable flies out to center. Cruz makes a nice play on the line drive from Guzman. Maybin pops up to end the eighth.
Top of the ninth. Right hander Cory Burns comes on to pitch for San Diego. Punto flies out to left. Bison needed only a triple for the cycle, and settles for another single. That gives Bison four hits on the day. Gonzalez hits a little dribbler to the third base side of the mound. Burns has to leap off the mound and fire to first to throw out Gonzo. Kemp advances to third on the play. Burns whiffs Hanley for the third out. Move to the bottom of the ninth, with the Dodgers leading 8-2. Jamey Wright enters the game to pitch for the Dodgers. Parrino pops out. John Baker grounds out. Forsythe flies out to right to end the game. The Dodgers win!
With the win the Dodgers win their 80th game of the season, improve to 80-75, and live to play another day. The Dodgers are now 40-40 while wearing the road grays, and play their final road game tomorrow night. The Cardinals are losing in Houston right now, and the Dodgers are four games back. If the Cardinals lose, the Dodgers are three and a half back with seven to play. The Cardinals are off tomorrow, so if the Dodgers win again tomorrow, they can come home three games back with six games left to play. The Dodgers need to win out the rest of their games, and get a small miracle in order to tie the Cardinals for the second wild card. The Dodgers elimination number is still four. Any combination of four Carindal wins, or four Dodger losses and the Dodger’s season is over. Tomorrow the Dodgers will give the ball to Chris Capuano in the rubber game. San Diego will counter with rookie Casey Kelly. Go Blue.