Sunday, April 6, 2014
Rapid Reaction: Dodgers 6, Giants 2
By Ramona Shelburne
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' plan was to ease Matt Kemp back into the starting lineup as he worked his way back from offseason ankle surgery. He had other ideas.
Kemp blasted two home runs in the Dodgers' 6-2 win over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday and is now hitting .273 with four RBIs in three games this season.
Kemp has been the Dodgers' starting center fielder in each of the three games he has played since being activated from the disabled list Friday, but that wasn't the original plan. Kemp had been scheduled to come off the bench in Friday's home opener, and was none too pleased about it. But he was inserted in the starting lineup a couple of hours before game time when Yasiel Puig was late to the ballpark. Puig was not in the starting lineup Sunday as he went to have an MRI exam on his injured left thumb. It's not known what manager Don Mattingly would have done against Giants right-hander Matt Cain if Puig had been healthy. But Kemp was in there again to start the game, and it turned out to be a very good thing for the Dodgers.
Kemp took Cain deep for a solo homer in the second inning and a two-run shot in the fourth inning. Cain gave up five runs and six hits -- all extra base hits -- in six innings.
Hanley Ramirez also had two home runs for the Dodgers, taking Cain deep in the fourth and hitting the second one off Giants reliever David Huff in the eighth. Ramirez was 3-for-4 with two homers, a double and two RBIs.
How it happened: The Dodgers jumped out to an early lead on home runs by Kemp and Ramirez and got dominant pitching from starter Zack Greinke and their bullpen to salvage the third game of this three-game series. The Giants had outscored the Dodgers 16-6 in the first two games.
Hits: Greinke was dominant through the first five innings, striking out eight batters and giving up only four hits. It got away from Greinke a little in the sixth inning however, as he gave up solo home runs to Brandon Belt and Hunter Pence, and he was replaced by Chris Withrow, who struck out the side in the next inning.
Misses: The first two hitters in the Dodger's lineup, Dee Gordon and Carl Crawford, went a combined 0-for-8 with two strikeouts Sunday.
Stat of the game: 14. That's the number of consecutive starts of at least five innings where Greinke has given up two or fewer runs. It's tied for the second-longest streak since 1914. Cincinnati's Mat Latos had 15 consecutive starts of at least five innings with two or fewer runs allowed in 2010.
Up next: The Dodgers have an off day Monday before opening up a two-game interleague series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday and Wednesday at home. Dan Haren is scheduled to start on Tuesday against reigning American League Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer.