The Dodgers were without four starters on Wednesday, but Matt Kemp was still in the lineup and led the team to an 8-2 win over the Padres at Peto Park.
Kemp had two game-winning hits on the road trip last week, but was 0-for-12 since his two-run 10th inning single in Cincinnati on Friday. That mini-slump lowered Kemp's numbers since his collision with the center field wall in Denver to .159/.216/.256 in 88 plate appearances.
But Kemp snapped out of that in a big way, and tied a season high with four hits. He nearly homered to center in the fourth inning, settling for a double. Then in the sixth he did it again, only this time the ball sailed over the wall for his team-leading 20th blast of the year. Kemp on the road trip is hitting .324/.378/.529.
Nick Punto, making his fourth start for the Dodgers, had three hits, four runs scored, and one extraneous slide into first base. Punto is the only Dodger to score four runs in a game this year.
The middle of the lineup, aside from Kemp, showed signs of life. Both Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez had two hits. Juan Rivera got a rare start and he filled in nicely with two hits of his own, including a home run.
Even Aaron Harang got into the act on offense. Harang, who entered the game hitting .058 (3-for-52) and has hit above .100 just four times in his career, doubled. On the mound, Harang was Harang, allowing eight runners in 5 1/3 innings, but none of them scored and he finally picked up his 10th win of the season, on his sixth try.
The Dodgers look to not only capture the series on Thursday, but also to finish with a winning road record on the season, as the team is now 40-40 on the road. Chris Capuano starts the series finale for the Dodgers, facing Casey Kelly, one of the players San Diego got from the Red Sox for Gonzalez.
Home Runs: Juan Rivera (8), Matt Kemp (20)
WP - Aaron Harang (10-10): 5 1/3 IP, 4 hits, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Clayton Richard (14-13): 3 2/3 IP, 10 hits, 6 runs (4 earned runs), 2 strikeouts