- Tony Jackson, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp declared himself ready for action after being activated from the 15-day disabled list before Tuesday night's game against the Milwaukee Brewers, this after a two-day rehabilitation stint with Triple-A Albuquerque in which he went 5 for 7 with a double and two home runs.
In his return, Kemp went 1-for-4 with a double in a 2-1 loss to the Brewers.
Kemp had been sidelined with a left hamstring strain since May 14, missing a total of 13 games.
"It felt like a month," Kemp said before the game of his two-week DL stint, just the second of his career and the first since 2007. "I woke up this morning feeling like it was Opening Day. I'm pretty excited ... to get back out there and be with the boys."
Before the injury, Kemp had the longest consecutive games played streak in the majors at 399, but manager Don Mattingly plans to give Kemp an occasional day off now.
"Since the streak is over, I guess he probably is going to give me a couple of days off here and there," Kemp said. "He is going to have to fight to get me out of the lineup. I definitely didn't want to take those two weeks off, but it certainly didn't hurt."
To clear a roster spot for Kemp, the Dodgers optioned outfielder Jerry Sands to Triple-A Albuquerque. As expected, the team also recalled right-hander Nathan Eovaldi from Double-A Chattanooga so he could start against the Brewers, a spot having been cleared for him the previous night when lefty Michael Antonini was sent back to Albuquerque.
Kemp returned to the starting lineup in his customary third spot. At the time of his injury, he was hitting .359 with 12 homers, 28 RBIs and a .446 on-base percentage. Any concern the layoff would hurt his swing appeared to be alleviated by his performance during the rehab with the Isotopes.
Meanwhile, left fielder Juan Rivera, also on the 15-day DL since May 9 with a left hamstring strain and joined Kemp on the two-day rehab at Albuquerque, was back with the team on Tuesday. He will resume his rehab on Thursday with advanced Class A Rancho Cucamonga, and Rivera said he hoped to play two days there and then be activated in time for Friday night's game at Colorado.