Matt Kemp couldn’t believe the mid-afternoon heat during batting practice.
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”After BP, I was like this,” he said, dropping his head as if he was about to pass out. ”Whew!”
The heat won’t be the lasting memory from his career game.
Kemp hit a tying grand slam in the eighth inning for his second homer of the game, and Jamey Carroll singled in the go-ahead run in the 11th, sending the Los Angeles Dodgers to an 11-8 victory over the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.
The Dodgers pulled off their biggest comeback of the season and improved to 5-0 in extra innings.
Carroll’s fourth hit started a four-run rally off Carlos Fisher (0-3). Aaron Miles also singled home a run, and Fisher’s throwing error helped the Dodgers pull away. Kemp finished it with a run-scoring forceout for his career-high sixth RBI.
”It was real hard, but I made it through it,” Kemp said, cracking open a bottle of water in front of his locker. ”It was definitely a big game for me.”
And for the depleted Dodgers, who sent two more players to the disabled list but managed to pull one out anyway. Rookie Javy Guerra (1-0) pitched out of a threat in the 10th for his first big league win.
The Reds scored a run in the 11th before Ramon Troncoso got Brandon Phillips to fly out with two runners aboard. The Dodgers improved to 27-10 against the Reds since 2006.
The Reds took advantage of Clayton Kershaw’s fade on a steamy afternoon, pulling ahead 7-2 after seven innings. Joey Votto’s three-run homer off the left-hander put right-hander Johnny Cueto in line for his first career win over the Dodgers.
The NL’s busiest bullpen couldn’t hold on. Cincinnati’s relievers lead the league in innings, and manager Dusty Baker used six on Saturday without success.
”That’s tough to take,” Baker said. ”That just goes to show how things can change on you in a minute.”
Los Angeles sent nine batters to the plate in the eighth. Miles singled home a run off Nick Masset, and Kemp hit the second pitch from Logan Ondrusek for his sixth career grand slam, tying it at 7.
Kemp has 15 homers overall, two behind Cincinnati’s Jay Bruce for the NL lead. He’s among the league leaders in various offensive categories, batting .318 with 46 RBIs.
”He’s kind of putting it all together,” manager Don Mattingly said. ”Over the course of the season, we see what Matt’s capable of. Though he’s had good seasons, we knew he was capable of more.”
Kershaw was coming off his second career shutout and handled the Reds with ease through the first five innings, fanning nine on a nasty afternoon – 91 degrees, sunny and humid. Votto’s eighth homer in the sixth finally got the Reds going.
”I threw a slider that he hit for a three-run homer,” Kershaw said. ”I can’t throw that pitch right there. I’ve got to get it down.”
Cincinnati pulled away after Kershaw left in the seventh. Pinch-hitter Chris Heisey doubled home a pair of runs off Mike MacDougal and scored on Drew Stubbs’ double for a 7-2 lead. Six of the runs were charged to Kershaw, the most he’s allowed this season.
The Dodgers put two more players on the DL before the game, adding to their devastating run of injuries.
Shortstop Rafael Furcal strained muscles in his left side during the Reds’ 2-1 win on Friday night, sidelining him for the second time this season. Furcal broke his left thumb in April. Starter Jon Garland also went on the DL with a sore pitching shoulder.
That makes 13 Dodgers sidelined by injury so far, including five relievers and three-fourths of their infield at various points.
Notes: The crowd of 40,324 represented the Reds’ fifth sellout this season. … The Dodgers called up INF Ivan De Jesus and RHP John Ely to fill the roster spots. … The Reds expect to call up RHP Edinson Volquez next week. He was sent down on May 23 to fix his control problems. … Votto’s homer was his second in June. He hit one in May. … 2B Phillips returned after sitting out one game with a sore wrist. He made a barehanded grab-and-throw on Miles’ grounder to get an out in the sixth. … Phillips’ RBI single in the sixth snapped an 0-for-13 slump. … The Reds are 4-3 in extra innings.