Matt Kemp continued his hot streak, hitting a towering home run to deep right center field on Friday night as the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Diego Padres 2-0 in the opening game of a weekend series at Petco Park. Kemp's home run tied Albert Pujols for the National League lead in home runs, giving Kemp the lead in two of the three triple crown categories.
|Batting Average||Home Runs||RBI|
|.32948||Matt Kemp||37||Matt Kemp||119|
|Matt Kemp||.32586||Uggla / Fielder
Ryan Braun hit a three-run home run in the bottom of the eight inning in Milwaukee on Friday, breaking a tie and leading the Milwaukee Brewers to one of three division clinchers on Friday night. Jose Reyes was rained out, and the New York Mets will play a doubleheader against the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday.
Ted Lilly continued his late-season groove, pitching into the seventh inning and striking out seven, all while allowing no runs. Since the beginning of August, Lilly has a 2.32 ERA in 10 starts with 20 unintentional walks and 59 strikeouts.
Eugenio Velez made history on Friday night, going 0-for-3 to tie Craig Counsell and Bill Bergen for longest stretch of futility by a position player, at 0 for his last 45. This season, Velez is hitless in 36 at-bats, which if the season ended today would be a record for most at-bats by a position player without a hit, passing Hal "0-for-35" Finney, a catcher for the 1936 Pittsburgh Pirates.
On the other end of the spectrum, both Jerry Sands and Dee Gordon extended their hitting streaks on Friday. Sands doubled in the second inning and scored the first run of the game, and now has an 11-game streak, with 19 hits in his 42 at-bats. Gordon has a 10-game hitting streak, with 17 hits in his last 41 at-bats.
Kenley Jansen faced three batters in the eighth inning, and struck them all out. Jansen has struck out nine of the last 12 batters he faced, and 25 of the last 38, too. He has six walks and 46 strikeouts in his last 22 innings pitched. Simply amazing. Jansen is averaging 15.95 strikeouts per nine innings this season, just shy of the record of 15.99, set by Carlos Marmol of the Chicago Cubs last year.
Speaking of strikeouts, Wade LeBlanc got stuck with the loss despite pitching seven strong innings. LeBlanc became just the third pitcher since the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958 to strikeout 10 or more Dodgers with no walks in a loss. Rick Reuschel, on August 19, 1973 while with the Chicago Cubs, and Curt Schilling, on July 26, 1997 while with the Philadelphia Phillies, are the others.
The Dodgers have won six of their last seven games and are 79-77 with five games left to play. Chad Billingsley makes his final start of the year on Saturday, facing Aaron Harang.
WP - Ted Lilly (11-14): 6 1/3 IP, 4 hits, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - Wade LeBlanc (4-6): 7 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 10 strikeouts
Sv - Javy Guerra (20): 1 IP, 1 strikeout