The Dodgers lost on Wednesday night, 8-5 to the Giants, but there was still excitement at Dodger Stadium, thanks to Matt Kemp. On the same night Kemp received the 2011 Roy Campanella Award, the National League MVP contender inspired the hell out of a pitch in the fifth inning off Ryan Vogelsong, a towering drive into the pavilion in left center field. The home run was the 35th of the season for Kemp, bringing him to within one of Albert Pujols for the National League lead, and punched Kemp's ticket into an exclusive club.
There have now been 19 seasons in major league history with at least 35 home runs and 35 stolen bases, and Kemp is the 14th player to accomplish the feat. The last was Alfonso Soriano, who also joined the 40/40 club in 2006 with 46 home runs and 41 steals for the Washington Nationals.
Kemp also singled in the ninth inning, raising his batting average to .3222 on the season. Jose Reyes of the New York Mets leads the National League with a .3301 batting average, just ahead of Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers at .3297. Kemp is third, his lowest rank in any triple crown category.
Kemp's three-run home run pushed his RBI total to an NL-leading 116, which is the sixth most in one season by a Dodger since they moved to Los angeles in 1958.
|Most RBI By An LA Dodger, Single Season|
Dana Eveland wasn't very effective tonight, allowing five runs in four innings, the shortest of his four starts as a Dodger. But his ledger is even at two good games and two bad ones, which is about as good as you can expect for a fill-in on the staff.
Though the Dodgers were down 5-0 early, it actually could have been much worse. The Giants grounded into three double plays in the first three innings, including two by Jeff Keppinger. The Giants ran into a fourth double play in the fifth inning as Brett Pill was caught stealing second base on a strikeout pitch to Brandon Belt.
After Kemp's home run cut the deficit to one, the Giants tacked on one run in the sixth inning and two more in the top of the seventh.
- James Loney had three more singles, giving him 13 hits in his last 20 at-bats, including three doubles and two home runs.
- Jerry Sands singled in the eighth inning, extending his hitting streak to nine games, and has 17 hits in his last 34 at-bats
- Dee Gordon had two singles, a stolen base, and scored a run, extending his hitting streak to eight games. During the streak, he has 14 hits in 34 at-bats, hitting .412/.444/.500.
- Eugenio Velez made a pinch hit appearance in the bottom of the fifth inning, and he did not make an out! Velez was hit by a pitch, which put him on first while preserving his concurrent streaks of 0 for 33 (this season) and 0 for 42 (dating back to 2010).
- Carlos Beltran left the game in the bottom of the fifth inning with a contusion in his right foot.
- Hiroki Kuroda starts the final home game of the season on Thursday night, facing Madison Bumgarner for San Francisco.
WP - Ryan Vogelsong (12-7): 5 IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
LP - Dana Eveland (2-2): 4 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 3 walks, 1 strikeout
Sv - Brian Wilson (36): 1/3 IP, 1 hit