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Monday, September 26, 2011
Matt Kemp is NL's player of the week

By Tony Jackson
ESPNLosAngeles.com

PHOENIX -- Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, one of the leading candidates for the National League Most Valuable Player award, was named the NL Player of the Week on Monday after hitting .423 (11-for-26) in six games through Sunday.

Kemp, who still has a fading shot at becoming baseball's first Triple Crown winner in 40 years and the first one in the NL in 74 years, hit three homers and four doubles and drove in seven runs. He also scored a major league-leading nine runs last week.

Kemp also is still harboring hopes of becoming the fifth player in major league history to hit 40 homers and steal 40 bases in the same season, but in order to do so, he needs to hit three home runs in the Dodgers' final three games of the season. The club was scheduled to open a season-ending, three-game set with the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday night, and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said he might consider moving Kemp into the leadoff spot to potentially get him an extra at-bat if he goes into Wednesday night's finale needing another home run or two to get there.

Kemp, who turned 27 last week, previously won the NL Player of the Week Award for April 28-May 4, 2008.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com.