Matt Kemp drives in four runs as Dodgers avoid sweep with win over Rockies

first_imgThey couldn’t do it in the first two games of the series and not coincidentally managed just two runs and eight hits in all. The potential for a lost weekend was building for Kemp in particular. He dragged a 3-for-36 funk into Sunday’s game.“I just couldn’t wait until July,” Kemp joked. “I think the last week and a half or two weeks has been a little rough. But that’s baseball. You work out of it. You try to get out of it. You try to do something good. Today is July 1st, had a good day so we’re off to a good start this month.“We’re undefeated in July.”Kemp went 3 for 4 Sunday, driving in a run with each at-bat. A ground out in the first inning produced one run without getting Kemp back on track. But he lashed an RBI double in the third, an RBI single in the fifth and took Adam Ottavino – perhaps the only Rockies reliever able to hold his head high – over the wall in center field in the eighth inning.“Just grind,” Kemp said with a smile when asked what he did to get out of the slump. “It’s that easy. Just grind.” The solo home run broke a 4-4 tie and Yasiel Puig stole an insurance run when he doubled, went to third on an infield single then raced home ahead of the throw when Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu was slow to get up after making a sliding stop. Puig broke for home when LeMahieu tossed the ball to the first baseman.“That’s the kind of energy and fire he brings,” Dodgers starter Ross Stripling said. “Sometimes it doesn’t work out but a lot of times it does. It’s pretty neat when it pans out.”The Dodgers no doubt felt it was pretty neat the way things panned out when they moved Stripling to the starting rotation in May. But the accidental ace did more ducking and dodging than dominating against the Rockies. Stripling gave up a season-high nine hits in six innings and four runs, the most he had allowed since his first start back on April 30.The Rockies had baserunners in all but one of Stripling’s six innings and the hits included doubles by Gerardo Parra and Trevor Story in the third inning and a solo home run by Nolan Arenado (his second of the series and National League-leading 21st of the season) in the fifth.“I wasn’t sharp early, for sure,” Stripling said. “My slider’s not like Kenta’s slider. It’s much more of a cutter and when I try to give it depth to guys like Arenado and Story it’s just not a throw that I make a lot. But I was trying to make it work today. I threw some good ones but just overall not incredibly sharp.”Stripling does seem to have lost some of the edge he had while posting a 1.53 ERA and holding opposing batters to a .207 average during an eight-start stretch. In his past three starts, he has a 4.24 ERA while giving up 24 hits in 17 innings and a .338 batting average.“I faced the Cubs back to back. I think they have the advantage there,” Stripling said. “Wasn’t terribly sharp in Chicago. Wasn’t sharp today. I don’t think I’m fatiguing. I wouldn’t say that. They’ve seen me throw 80 innings now this year. I think they’ve got an idea what’s coming. I’ve just got to stay sharp. Those are tough lineups. But I feel my stuff plays against anyone. So I just need to be sharp every outing.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img PreviousLos Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy, center, as home plate umpire Lance Barksdale, left, makes the call during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez is congratulated by teammates after scoring on a ground out by Ian Desmond during the second inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill) SoundThe gallery will resume insecondsLos Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, left, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, left, tosses some dirt as he looks at Cody Bellinger after scoring on a double by Matt Kemp during the third inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado, right, celebrates with Carlos Gonzalez after hitting a solo home run during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado, right, gestures as he scores after hitting a solo home run as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes, left, stands at the plate during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies’ Nolan Arenado (28) hits a solo home run as Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling (68) watches along with catcher Austin Barnes, second from left, and home plate umpire Lance Barksdale during the fifth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling crouches after giving up an RBI ground-rule-double to Colorado Rockies’ Gerardo Parra during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Chad Bettis throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, left, attempts to tag out Colorado Rockies’ Carlos Gonzalez who makes it to third on a single by Trevor Story during the second inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy, center, as home plate umpire Lance Barksdale, left, makes the call during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)NextShow Caption1 of 16Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy, right, scores on a double by Matt Kemp under the tag of Colorado Rockies catcher Tom Murphy during the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 1, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)ExpandLOS ANGELES — While most of Southern California held its breath in anticipation of “The Decision: The Sequel” from LeBron James, the Dodgers got what they must have had on their wish list Sunday – extended time with the Colorado Rockies’ bullpen.After Rockies starters Tyler Anderson and German Marquez each turned in eight strong innings in the first two games of the weekend series, Rockies right-hander Chad Bettis had to leave Sunday’s game after only three with “a hot spot” on the middle finger of his pitching hand – usually the precursor to a blister.That put the Dodgers in a good spot, getting early entry into the worst bullpen in the major leagues (a 5.52 ERA). They took advantage, using a four-RBI day from Matt Kemp to dig out of an early deficit and beat the Rockies 6-4 to avoid a weekend sweep.Sign up for our Inside the Dodgers newsletter. Be the best Dodger fan you can be by getting daily intel on your favorite team. Subscribe here.“Hopefully Chad is going to be OK,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said diplomatically. “But for us — for the Dodgers — to get into their ‘pen, was a good thing.”last_img read more