In four games since returning after being benched for two contests, the 25-year-old Dodgers outfielder has recorded three multi-hit games. On Saturday, he belted a two-run homer during the six-run second inning of a 14-1 win over the D-backs.
For Arizona manager Kirk Gibson, the lopsided loss was his first since taking over for A.J. Hinch on Thursday night. Gibson played for the Dodgers from 1988-90, winning the National League MVP and the World Series with them in 1988.
"We're just going to regroup," Gibson said after Saturday's game. "It's a test of character. The whole season, it is that way. We got to try to convince ourselves that we've got a good chance to win tomorrow."
Both teams will be vying for the series win on Sunday and both will turn to veteran right-handers to do so. Chad Billingsley will make the start for Los Angeles to counter D-backs ace Dan Haren.
Despite a 2.61 ERA in three starts against the Dodgers this season, Haren has no wins to show for it. In two of those three outings, gaffes by the D-backs' bullpen resulted in late-inning losses.
A couple of Arizona relievers did show some signs of improvement on Saturday, though. Chad Qualls, who has a 7.94 ERA this season, tossed a scoreless ninth to record his third consecutive scoreless performance, while Dontrelle Willis did not walk a batter for the first time in six appearances with Arizona.
Billingsley, meanwhile, has a 5.68 ERA in three starts against the D-backs this season but is 1-0 against his National League West foe.
Dodgers: Manny lands on DL
The Dodgers sent Manny Ramirez to the 15-day disabled list on Saturday with a strained right hamstring. Xavier Paul, whom Los Angeles called up for Ramirez, went 2-for-4 with a walk, two runs scored and two RBIs on Saturday.
D-backs: Youngblood completes coaching staff
Arizona finalized its new coaching staff on Saturday, making Joel Youngblood its third-base coach. Former third-base coach Bo Porter is now the team's new bench coach, filling in the spot vacated by Gibson's promotion.
Paul's walk during the second inning on Saturday was a peculiar one, as he only needed three balls to do so. The gaffe went unnoticed by the umpiring crew and play continued.
Sun, 7/4 4:10 PM ET
Kemp, Kuo strike late in Dodgers' win
Matt Kemp drilled a tiebreaking, two-run home run in the eighth after Dan Haren departed and left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo earned the win, electrifying the D-backs by striking out six in two innings.
|a-Johnson, R, PH-LF||1||0||1||0||0||0||0||.282|
|Broxton, J, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ellis, A, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||2||.200|
|Johnson, K, 2B||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.264|
|Upton, J, RF||4||0||0||0||0||3||3||.260|
|Montero, M, C||4||0||2||0||0||2||1||.394|
|Young, C, CF||4||0||1||0||0||0||5||.264|
|Reynolds, Ma, 3B||4||0||1||1||0||2||0||.221|
|Parra, G, LF||4||0||1||0||0||1||1||.256|
2B: Loney (23, Haren), Furcal (13, Haren), Johnson, R (8, Norberto).
HR: Kemp (15, 8th inning off Heilman, 1 on, 1 out).
TB: Billingsley; Furcal 2; DeWitt; Kemp 5; Johnson, R 2; Ethier; Loney 3.
RBI: Ethier (49), Kemp 2 (47).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: DeWitt; Ethier.
GIDP: Ellis, A.
Team RISP: 1-for-7.
Team LOB: 5.
CS: Loney (4, 2nd base by Haren/Montero, M), Johnson, R (2, home by Norberto/Montero, M).
2B: LaRoche (18, Billingsley), Young, C (20, Kuo).
3B: Reynolds, Ma (1, Billingsley).
TB: Young, C 2; LaRoche 2; Parra, G; Reynolds, Ma 3; Montero, M 2; Drew; Johnson, K.
RBI: Reynolds, Ma (54).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Young, C 2; Johnson, K; LaRoche.
Team RISP: 1-for-7.
Team LOB: 8.
Outfield assists: Upton, J (Ethier at 2nd base).
DP: (Johnson, K-LaRoche).
|Broxton, J(S, 17)||1.0||0||0||0||0||2||0||2.02|
Pitches-strikes: Billingsley 111-76, Kuo 32-22, Broxton, J 11-9, Haren 121-82, Heilman 26-15, Norberto 17-10.
Groundouts-flyouts: Billingsley 7-2, Kuo 0-0, Broxton, J 1-0, Haren 8-4, Heilman 3-0, Norberto 1-0.
Batters faced: Billingsley 26, Kuo 7, Broxton, J 3, Haren 26, Heilman 6, Norberto 3.
Umpires: HP: Paul Emmel. 1B: Bill Hohn. 2B: Gary Darling. 3B: Bruce Dreckman.
Weather: 77 degrees, roof closed.
Wind: 0 mph, None.
Venue: Chase Field.
July 4, 2010
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media