SAN FRANCISCO -- Matt Kemp deflects questions about lingering injuries from his collision with the Coors Field fence last month, but manager Don Mattingly hints that something's there.
"I'm sure he's feeling something," Mattingly said of his struggling center fielder, who hit .120 (3-for-25) after returning from the violent collision that also left him with a bone bruise above his knee and a bruised jaw.
"I know the [left] shoulder has been sore. He ran into it pretty good. I'm sure he's felt some soreness in different areas."
That said, Kemp didn't play in 399 consecutive games (a streak snapped by his May hamstring strain) by begging out of the lineup. And for purposes of giving the opposition something to think about, Mattingly would rather have Kemp at less than 100 percent than any other alternative.
"We don't want him out of the lineup unless he knows he can't really swing," Mattingly said. "I know he's felt some stingers in his shoulder. Maybe it weighs on him occasionally when he swings and misses. But for the most part, I thought he was swinging better the last two or three days. Better at-bats. It's a matter of swinging at strikes.
"With a lot of our guys in the middle of the order, they want to drive in runs, but they've got to swing at strikes. If you don't, you don't hit."
Kennedy departs after reinjuring groin muscle
SAN FRANCISCO -- One-half inning after homering off Tim Lincecum to give the Dodgers a lead Friday, third baseman Adam Kennedy pulled his right groin muscle on defense.
Kennedy, who was on the disabled list from July 25 to Aug. 10 with the same injury, said this time it is worse. He said he felt a pop taking a first step charging Hunter Pence's tricky-hop infield single that tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.
Kennedy didn't get a hand on the ball and said if he had been healthy he might have been able to make a play at a decent angle to throw to first, although the speedy Pence might have been safe anyway.
"I got it pretty good," Kennedy said of the injury, which has nagged him all season. "We'll see how it feels in the next few days."
Kennedy drew a rare start at third base because he came into the game with a .381 lifetime average off Lincecum. Luis Cruz, who started at third base the previous eight games, replaced Kennedy in the seventh inning.
Dodgers co-owner preaches patience with pickups
SAN FRANCISCO -- Peter Guber, the entertainment entrepreneur who is part-owner of the Dodgers and the NBA's Golden State Warriors, said he's not disappointed that the recent spending spree on impact acquisitions hasn't resulted in the club's immediate turnaround.
"It's not fair to judge anything for almost a season," said Guber. "The objectives of both groups were completely different. [Dodgers president] Stan Kasten, [general manager] Ned Colletti and [manager] Don Mattingly had an objective and the Red Sox had an objective to rebuild.
"You can't tell nine days later. Look at it for a season. Not over three weeks. We did it to send signals, to the fans, to the media. You have to recognize that it's a business proposition. The biggest risk in business is taking no risk."
Guber, in addition to being an accomplished motion-picture producer, owned several Minor League teams. In the last two years, he purchased the Warriors with former Celtics minority owner Joe Lacob and was brought in by Magic Johnson as part of the group that purchased the Dodgers from Frank McCourt.
Guber said his role in the group is to help improve the fan experience at Dodger Stadium.
Kennedy starts, Rivera sits against Lincecum
SAN FRANCISCO -- For Friday night's opener of the crucial series with the Giants, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly's lineup was influenced by pitching matchups, to a point.
Mattingly sat third baseman Luis Cruz and started Adam Kennedy because of past performances, but looked the other way when the stats showed that Juan Rivera hits Giants starter Tim Lincecum and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez does not.
"With Rivera, he'd have to play left field or first base, and for the most part the guys we brought in we're going to make it or break it with them," said Mattingly. "Adrian, Matt [Kemp], Andre [Ethier], Shane [Victorino], Hanley [Ramirez]. Those are our guys."
Kennedy earned the start at third because he is 8-for-21 (.381) against Lincecum. Cruz, coming off a .393 homestand and hitting .352 with runners in scoring position, is 0-for-2 with a strikeout against Lincecum.
Mattingly, however, couldn't find a place to start Rivera, who is 8-for-18 (.444) against Lincecum. Gonzalez has really struggled against the Giants starter, going 8-for-39 (.205) with 16 strikeouts and no extra-base hits entering Friday. Victorino was 9-for-36 (.250) with eight strikeouts.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.