Matt Kemp keys Padres' 10th-inning rally past Angels
Matt Kemp erased a month of frustration and ended nine innings of scoreless ball with one cathartic swing of his bat.
Kemp hit a three-run double down the left-field line with two outs in the 10th, and the San Diego Padres beat the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 on Tuesday night.
Kemp equaled his RBI total from his previous 15 games with his big hit for the Padres. Led by their slugging right fielder mired in a 16-for-91 slump in May, San Diego broke open a scoreless game by batting around in the extra inning to win for just the second time in seven games.
"We needed that," said Kemp, who also hit in the cleanup spot for the first time all year. "Felt like we needed to win that game right there. Felt excited I could get that hit for our team."
Jedd Gyorko snapped an 0-for-13 skid with a single leading off the 10th against Joe Smith (1-2). After Yangervis Solarte and Will Venable walked, Smith struck out Justin Upton before Kemp put his drive into the corner, clearing the bases.
The slumping Kemp has just one homer all year and hadn't driven in a run since May 17, but he delivered just down the I-5 freeway from his longtime home at Dodger Stadium. His first season in San Diego got off to a promising start, but had become ugly until this liner.
"I feel like I can still hit," Kemp said. "I'm still a good hitter. I'm going to just go through those stretches where things aren't working your way. I think I hit that stretch, so I feel like the earlier, the better. I'll get that out of the way, and then I can start doing some things to help this team win."
Derek Norris then scored Kemp with a single off Vinny Pestano.
Dale Thayer (1-0) pitched the ninth for the Padres, who had lost eight of 10.
"It was a big spot, no doubt," Padres manager Bud Black said. "Real happy for Matt. Obviously he's been through some trials and tribulations, but he's never backed off a challenge. That was a big moment."
Smith had worked 9 2/3 scoreless innings in his last eight appearances before imploding in the 10th.
Albert Pujols had two hits for the Angels, who have lost four of six to drop back to .500 (23-23). They were shut out for the third time in May -- matching their shutout total from the entire 2014 season, when they led the majors in runs scored.
"At some point, the runs are going to come," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We feel they're going to come. We hit some balls hard. We just needed a couple of them to fall in."
Two struggling lineups were no match for starters Matt Shoemaker and Odrisamer Despaigne.
Shoemaker yielded four hits and a walk over seven innings in his strongest start of a rocky season for the Angels, while Despaigne pitched six innings of five-hit ball without a walk.
Until the extra inning, the highlight of a pitching-dominated game was Venable's spectacular snare of Mike Trout's long drive to center in the third inning. Trout crushed Despaigne's fastball 409 feet to the deepest part of the Big A outfield, but Venable leaped at the wall and robbed him of a homer.
Shoemaker entered with just one victory in his six previous starts, but he wasn't thrown off his game when Venable's comebacker hit him in the foot in the first inning, although the right-hander did make a two-base throwing error after fielding the ball.
"It's disappointing we didn't win the game, but I'm definitely encouraged, for sure," Shoemaker said. "I had better execution, better focus. Everything was better."
Angels reliever Fernando Salas allowed two runners in the eighth, but Kemp struck out looking to end it.
Padres: The tendinitis in 1B Wil Myers' left wrist has improved, Black said. He was eligible to come off the disabled list Tuesday, but will remain inactive until he feels even better.
Padres: Hard-luck Andrew Cashner (1-7, 2.89 ERA) has lost five straight decisions despite a 3.00 ERA in that stretch.
Angels: Garrett Richards (4-2, 2.98 ERA) starts on his 27th birthday. He has never lost an interleague game.