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Matt Kemp Homers, Assures Winning Record, But Triple Crown Hopes Fading

Only two more to go, Matt.
Only two more to go, Matt.

Matt Kemp took a big step closer to becoming the fifth member of the 40/40 club on Monday night, but his triple crown chances are fading fast. Kemp blasted a three-run home run in the first inning off Daniel Hudson, a shot to dead center, helping the Dodgers to a 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks and assuring the Dodgers of a winning record this season.

The home run was Kemp's 38th of the season, giving him the outright National League lead over Albert Pujols, and it extended Kemp's lead in RBI, but it was also Kemp's only hit in four at-bats on the night. Meanwhile, Jose Reyes was busy getting three hits in four at-bats against the Reds, and Ryan Braun didn't start but delivered a pinch-hit double, both widening their lead over The Bison in batting average.

Batting Average Home Runs RBI
Jose Reyes .333962 Matt Kemp 38 Matt Kemp 123
Ryan Braun .333932 Albert Pujols 37 Ryan Howard 115
Matt Kemp .323777 Uggla / Fielder
35 Prince Fielder 115

Kemp is an even longer shot to win the batting title now. Even if he collects six hits in eight at-bats to end his season, Kemp would need both Reyes and Braun to go hitless in eight at-bats to pass them.

Dana Eveland continued his magic while wearing the road grays, as he retired the first 11 batters of the game before allowing a single to Chris Young with two outs in the fourth inning. He ended up pitching into the sixth inning, leaving with the bases loaded, two outs and a 3-0 lead. Josh Lindblom struck out Paul Goldschmidt to end the threat, and keep Eveland's record clean.

Eveland did not allow a run and didn't walk anyone either, all while striking out five. In three road starts this month, Eveland allowed a total of one run.

Hudson had a great run of his own, but thankfully for the Dodgers he waited until after Kemp delivered a 3-0 lead three batters into the game. After Kemp's home run, Hudson retired 15 straight, though he ran into some trouble in the seventh inning.

After a James Loney double and A.J. Ellis getting hit by a pitch one out later, the Dodgers tacked on an insurance run when Justin Sellers snapped a 7-for-67 skid with an RBI single. Tony Gwynn Jr. pinch hit in the inning, his first appearance since September 14 while dealing with a shoulder injury, but he lined into a double play to end the inning.

Jerry Sands extended his hitting streak to 14 games with an eighth-inning single.

Matt Guerrier pitched a scoreless seventh inning, his 69th appearance of the season. If Guerrier pitches in one of the two final games of the season, he will have pitched in at least 70 games in each of the last five seasons, the longest active streak in the majors.

Nathan Eovaldi made things interesting with a trio of walks in the eighth inning, then Scott Elbert delivered another walk to Montero, the only man he faced, though not before a passed ball brought home the first run for Arizona. Mike MacDougal came in and struck out Goldschmidt, but then issued the fifth walk of the inning, to Geoff Blum, to cut the Dodgers' lead to 4-2. Recent foe Gerardo Parra had a chance to do some damage, but instead flew out to left field to end the inning.

Javy Guerra pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his 21st save.

In the penultimate game of the season on Tuesday night, Hiroki Kuroda makes his final start of the season if not his Dodger career, facing Jarrod Parker, making his major league debut for Arizona.

WP - Dana Eveland (3-2): 5 2/3 IP, 5 hits, 5 strikeouts

LP - Daniel Hudson (16-12): 7 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

Sv - Javy Guerra (21): 1 IP

Box Score