Matt Kemp and Shane Victorino each had three hits, leading the Dodgers to a 6-4 win over the Rockies on Wednesday night, avoiding a sweep and snapping a two-game losing streak. The Dodgers remain a game and a half behind the Giants in the National League West.
Victorino had his best game as a Dodger, with three hits, three runs scored, and a stolen base. He scored the go-ahead run in the fifth inning on a bases loaded walk to Hanley Ramirez, then picked up his first RBI as a Dodger with a single in the sixth. Then while running on the play, Victorino scored from first base on a single by Mark Ellis for a 6-3 advantage.
Eric Young Jr. terrorized the Dodgers in the first two games of the series, with six hits, a walk, and four runs scored. After leading off the game Monday and Tuesday with singles, Young improved on that on Wednesday by hitting a would-be double to center field that bounced off the wall and away from Kemp for an inside-the-park home run.
But Kemp erased all of that and then some in the bottom of the inning. Shane Victorino singled and Mark Ellis walked to open the inning, and Kemp followed with a home run into left center field off Jeff Francis for a 3-2 Dodgers' lead.
Kemp has punished left-handed pitchers this season, hitting .469 (30-for-64) with nine home runs and nine walks.
Chad Billingsley after the first inning allowed just four hits, but left with two runners on base and one out in the seventh inning. One of them scored, snapping the Dodgers' string of five consecutive quality starts.
Andre Ethier went 2-for-4 on the night, with both hits coming off the southpaw Francis.
Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 22nd save of the season.
Shameless Self Promotion
If you want some insight into today's pregame media session, specifically about the Dodgers' first base options, look no further than T.J. Simers' column in the Los Angeles Times:
MATTINGLY LIKES to joke that truebluela.com's Eric Stephen knows more about the Dodgers than anyone else in the media.
"Go ahead, Eric," I tell him after Mattingly speaks highly of Stephen again, "ask him about some minor leaguer."
"All right, I'll ask about Juan Rivera," says Stephen, while asking Mattingly how he can stay with someone playing so poorly.
The obvious answer: What's his other choice, playing James Loney? But then Rivera was actually hitting below the Loney line before Wednesday.
"I think you should pay attention to what Eric has to say," says Mattingly, Stephen pronouncing Rivera as disappointing as Loney. "But everything Eric is saying is up to this point."
And Mattingly apparently thinks things will change, so it's too early to say whether Stephen knows more than the media and Mattingly as well.
Home Runs: Matt Kemp (17); Eric Young Jr. (2)
WP - Chad Billingsley (8-9): 6 1/3 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
LP - Carlos Torres (1-1): 2 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
Sv - Kenley Jansen (22): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts