Matt Kemp ... third grand slam
Matt Kemp slugged a grand slam home run, the fifth home run of the game by the Dodgers, as they outlasted Milwaukee 12-8. Andre Ethier, James Loney, Manny Ramirez and Russell Martin went long before Kemp hit the clincher in the 10 inning, Los Angeles was 27th in the Major Leagues in home runs with 66 going into the final series before the All-Star Break.
On a strange night that even saw the Dodgers pulling for Jonathan Sanchez of the Giants who nearly pitched a perfect game against San Diego, settling for a no-hit, no-run win over San Diego, they scored a run in the ninth off future Hall of Fame closer Trevor Hoffmann, watched as Manny Ramirez tie Mickey Mantle with hs 536th home run and finished the game with five home runs.
Andre Ethier homered (#17) in he first, James Loney homered (#7) in the fourth, Ramirez hit his home run (#9) in the sixth and Martin followed closely after with his second round tripper of the season and Kemp capped off the mini Home Run Derby with his 11th blast in the ninth with the bases jammed, the ball landing deep in the second deck in left field.
The Dodgers needed all the firepower to outlast the Brewers who hit a pair of home run of their own and lost leads of 2-1 in the first, 3-2 in the fourth and 6-5 in the ninth. Even after Los Angeles struck for six in the 10th, Milwaukee tagged Jonathan Broxton for a pair of runs in the bottom of the inning and had two on base with one out when the stopper finally ended the bleeding, Kemp making a running, over-the-shoulder, game-ending catch in deep center field and ran up the wall in celebration.
"He came into the dugout and he says, 'Willie Mays Hayes,'" Dodgers manager Joe Torre joked of Kemp's catch after the game, in reference to the fleet-footed center fielder in the movie "Major League."
Chad Billingsley, Guillermo Mota, Cory Wade, Brent Leach, Ramon Troncoso (3-0) and Broxton were used to stem the tide. Milwaukee used seven pitchers with starter Brandon Looper coughing up four homes good for five runs.
In an evening stuffed with highlights, Ramirez's historic home run that tied him for 15th place on the all-time list was all but swept away by the game-winning homer.
The five Dodgers homers marked their biggest power surge since hitting seven against San Diego.
The first inning set the tone of the game. Ethier homered but Milwaukee bounced back with two in the last of the inning when Billingsley gave p a single and a pair of walks to load the bases with two out.
Loney ripped a shot into the right field seats with two out in the fourth to tie the game but J.J. Hardy hit a high, outside pitch into the same seats to again tie the game in the lat of the inning.
The Dodgers took a 5-2 lead in the sixth when Ethier beat out an infield hit and scored on Ramirez homer to dead center. Martin followed with another drive over the center field wall with two out.
Billingsley struggled through five innings, throwing just 67 of his 110 pitches for strikes, but gave up a single and a pair of walks in the sixth. A single to left cut the L.A. lead to 5-4 and Mota got the call. He managed to extract the Dodgers from a potential big inning with a sac fly that tied the game and a double play.
Brent Leach was touched for a home run in the eighth but Hoffman was unable to stem the Dodgers' tide, allowing Martin's single, a sacrifice, Kemp's safe bunt and a game-tying single by Mark Loretta, who took over for Loney in the eighth.
Ramon Troncoso gave up a pair of singles to put the winning run at third base but then got an inning-ending double play and subsequently his third win without a loss when the Dodgers struck for six in the 10th.
Ramirez walked with one out and scored on Casey Blake's triple in the 10th. Juan Pierre was intentionally walked before Martin beat out an infield hit to drive in the second run of the inning. Orlando Hudson walked to load the bases and Kemp quickly unloaded them.
The grand slam was Kemp's fourth in his young career and his third of 2009. The 24-year-old outfielder has all three of Los Angeles' grand slams this season.
"He's capable of all that stuff," Torre said. "I think we see his ability to play this game, and he's going to make mistakes, but he's going to excite you and he certainly did tonight."
Kemp's three hits boosts his average to .329. Russell Martin also collected three and Andre Ethier had a pair of hits.
Ramirez is 7-of-22 (.318) with three homers, nine RBIs and seven runs scored in seven games since returning to the lineup.
The win was the Dodgers' 23rd comeback victory this season, and they improved their record to 9-2 in extra-inning games and a major league-bset 55-31 overall.
In the second game of the series, RHP Jeff Weaver (5-2, 3.32 ERA) makes his fifth start of the season, this one in place of Eric Milton, who was placed on the disabled list. Primarily a long reliever this year, in four spot starts he has a 2-0 record and 3.15 ERA.
Milwaukee sends RHP Mike Burns (1-2, 5.57 ERA)to the mound after allowing seven runs before being knocked out in the fifth inning of an 8-2 loss to the Cubs.
Score by Innings
Los Angeles 100 103 001 6-12
Milwaukee 200 102 010 2- 8
Los Angeles ab r h bi ave
Furcal ss 6 0 1 0 .258
Ethier rf 6 2 2 1 .251
Ramirez lf 4 2 1 2 .342
Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000
Blake 3b 5 1 1 1 .288
Loney 1b 4 1 1 1 .279
Leach p 0 0 0 0 .000
Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 .000
Pierre ph-lf 0 1 0 0 .329
Martin c 5 3 3 2 .262
Hudson 2b 2 1 0 0 .284
Kemp cf 5 1 3 4 .324
Billingsley p 1 0 0 0 .235
Mota p 0 0 0 0 .000
DeWitt ph 1 0 0 0 .174
Wade p 0 0 0 0 .000
Loretta 1b 2 0 1 1 .248
Totals 41 12 13 12
Milwaukee 37 8 12 8
2B- Kemp (12). 3B- Blake (2),
HR- Ethier (17), Loney (7), Ramirez (9),
Martin (2), Kemp (11). RBI- Ethier (55),
Loney (52), Ramirez 2 (29), Martin 2 (27),
Loretta (16), Blake (54), Kemp 4 (50).
S- Billingsley, Hudson. LOB- Dodgers 5,
Milwaukee 8. DP- Furcal, Hudson and
Loney; Furcal, Hudson and Loretta.
Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era
Billingsley 5.0 5 5-5 4 4 3.38
Mota 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 3.57
Wade 1.0 0 0-0 0 0 5.53
Leach 0.1 1 1-1 0 0 3.38
Troncoso (3-0) 1.2 3 0-0 0 1 1.78
Broxton 1.0 3 2-2 1 0 3.10
HBP- by Billlingsley. T- 3:33. Att- 41,811.