Padres 6, Dodgers 5
Matt Kemp is getting comfortable with his swing at just the right time.
The runner-up to Milwaukee's Ryan Braun for NL MVP last season, Kemp doubled and had two RBIs as the Los Angeles Dodgers lost 6-5 to a split squad of San Diego Padres on Tuesday.
''I feel great,'' Kemp said. ''We're getting to that point where you have to start concentrating on your at-bats and getting locked in. The season's right around the corner and you have to work on what you're going to try to do during the season, especially against the teams that you're going to face during the season.''
Kemp, who agreed to a $160 million, eight-year contract in November, struck out his first two times up against Padres prospect Casey Kelly. But the slugger doubled in a run in the fifth inning and added a sacrifice fly in the seventh.
Kemp, who has knocked in 11 runs this spring and is hitting .313, is pleased with his improved timing at the plate. The Dodgers open the regular season April 5 in San Diego.
''At the beginning, I felt a little out of rhythm,'' Kemp said. ''But as spring goes on, you tend to get your timing and this is about the time you want to start getting that good feel.''
Padres manager Bud Black hopes center fielder Cameron Maybin, who hit .264 and had team highs of 82 runs and 40 stolen bases in 2011, begins to experience the same feeling soon.
Maybin, who agreed to a five-year, $25 million contract this month, hasn't exactly been tearing up the Cactus League. But he had an RBI single in his final at-bat Tuesday to finish 1 for 4, raising his spring average to .213.
''I think that's a good momentum-builder,'' Black said. ''That's a good one to end on. He had some good swings in that at-bat. Cam can run a little hot and cold sometimes and we're trying to get the consistency out of Cam.''
Juan Rivera homered, doubled and singled for the Dodgers. He hit a solo shot in the fourth inning and an RBI double during a three-run seventh against Micah Owings.
Andre Ethier went 2 for 4 with an RBI triple.
Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso had an RBI single, doubled and walked. Third baseman Chase Headley singled, walked and scored two runs.
Los Angeles starter Jamey Wright, who was added to the 40-man roster before the game and will make the opening-day roster, allowed a run in one inning.
The move marks the seventh straight season in which Wright will have earned a roster spot after going to camp on a minor league contract. Wright, who was 2-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 60 appearances last season for Seattle, has already pitched for 10 teams in a career that began with the Colorado Rockies in 1996. He is 85-121 with a 4.93 ERA in 526 games.
''Jamey Wright's pretty much what we expected coming into camp,'' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ''A guy that's going to take the ball, basically play a lot of different roles. ... He's got a lot of versatility and gives us a veteran presence.''
NOTES: Los Angeles made a spot available for Wright on Tuesday when it transferred pitcher Blake Hawksworth from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Hawksworth is recovering from two offseason surgeries on his right elbow and isn't expected to be ready for opening day. ... Wright started in place of LHP Ted Lilly, who is out with a neck strain. Mattingly said Lilly is improving but the team won't make a decision until Friday on whether he'll miss his first regular-season turn in the rotation. ... Padres 2B Orlando Hudson (groin strain) has targeted Thursday to return, Black said. Hudson has played in one of San Diego's last 14 games.