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Matt Kemp named NL Player of the Month

Victor Decolongon

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers had a red-hot offense in September, averaging 6.24 runs per game, and a big reason why was rewarded on Tuesday. Matt Kemp was named National League Player of the Month for his work down the stretch.

Kemp hit .322/.347/.700 in the season's final month, leading the majors with nine home runs and 25 RBI (tied with teammate Adrian Gonzalez), and led the National League with 63 total bases and 21 runs scored, while finishing second in slugging.

It is the second Player of the Month Award for Kemp, who also won in April 2012.

It has been quite a comeback season for Kemp, after two injury-plagued seasons, a pair of shoulder surgeries and an ankle surgery. Kemp hit .287/.346/.506 this season, a 140 OPS+ with 25 home runs and 89 RBI, including .309/.365/.606 with 17 home runs and 54 RBI in 64 games since the All-Star break.

For much of the last week, from manager Don Mattingly down to the players, the consensus in the Dodgers locker room is that the biggest difference between the 2014 club and 2013 club heading into the postseason is that the team is generally healthier now, and that Kemp, who was on crutches at this time last year, is now healthy and productive, batting cleanup for the best offense in the National League.

The Dodgers won Player of the Month twice this season, with Kemp joining May winner Yasiel Puig.

Clayton Kershaw won Pitcher of the Month honors in June and July, but after going 5-0 with a 1.95 ERA (his worst ERA in the final four months of the season) in five September starts with 45 strikeouts and eight walks in 37 innings, he lost out on the final monthly award to his Game 1 counterpart Friday.

Adam Wainwright went 5-0 with a 1.38 ERA in five September starts for the Cardinals, with 29 strikeouts and five walks in 39 innings.