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Kemp & Ethier Rule The Day For Dodgers

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Matt Kemp stole the show early, and Andre Ethier saved the Dodgers late, holding off the Diamondbacks 4-3 at Dodger Stadium in the second game of their four-game series.

Kemp homered in the first, then singled and stole second in the third, scoring when a throw from rightfielder Justin Upton hit Kemp at second base.  Kemp motored around third, scoring easily, a la Kirk Gibson.  This was the third game of the season in which Kemp had both a home run and a stolen base.

Kemp has also homered in four straight games and five of his last six, giving him a career high 23 on the season.  Is a 30/30 season in reach?  It sure looks like it.

Vicente Padilla was solid, giving up only a run in 5.1 innings.  Early on, it looked like his night would be a short one, as he loaded the bases with nobody out in the first inning.  However, he gave up just one run that inning, retiring 16 of the final 19 batters he faced.

Scott Elbert, on his first day back up with the big club, gave up two runs in the sixth to tie the game, but the Diamondbacks would score no more off the Dodger bullpen.  Ronald Belisario picked up his third win of the year, pitching 1.1 scoreless innings, although he did allow an inherited run to score.

Justin Upton, who rivals Kemp for the title of best young outfielder in baseball, had three hits in five at-bats for the second straight game.  Upton has been unbelievable over his last 20 games, hitting .427/.489/.756 with 20 runs scored and 18 driven in.  He has reached the point where I don't want him batting against the Dodgers in any situation, yet I can't turn away when he's at the plate.

Andre Ethier drove in the go-ahead run in the bottom of the seventh with a bases-loaded walk, and then saved the Dodgers' bacon in the top of the eighth with a wonderful running catch at the wall in right field, saving at least a game-tying double, if not more, by Brandon Allen.

Jonathan Broxton picked up his 30th save on the season, becoming just the fifth Dodger to do so, joining Eric Gagne (three times), Todd Worrell (three times), Jeff Shaw (twice), and Takashi Saito.  Broxton has struck out 13 of the last 28 batters he has faced.

Hiroki Kuroda pitched five innings for Class A Inland Empire tonight, and per Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, is tentatively slated to start Sunday night against San Diego.

Chad Billingsley faces off against Max Scherzer tomorrow night.  Jim Thome is expected to be activated tomorrow, and although the corresponding move hasn't yet been announced, Beto Duran of ESPN 710 noted that Travis Schlichting was placed on the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster.  However, that move has not yet been announced.

UPDATE:  Schlichting to the 60-day DL has been reported by Jim Peltz and Kurt Streeter of the LA Times.

WP -Ronald Belisario (3-3):  1.1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

LP -Leo Rosales (1-1):  1.1 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Sv - Jonathan Broxton (30):  1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts

Box Score