Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez hit 2 HRs each, Dodgers beat Giants
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Kemp hit his first two home runs at Dodger Stadium since late in 2012 and Hanley Ramirez slugged his first two homers this season, helping Los Angeles beat the San Francisco Giants 6-2 Sunday night to avoid a three-game sweep.
Zack Greinke (2-0) pitched six innings, allowing two runs and six hits — including Brandon Belt’s fourth homer leading off the sixth, and the first of the season by Hunter Pence three batters later. The right-hander struck out eight and walked none.
Matt Cain (0-1) gave up five runs and six hits in six innings with three strikeouts and no walks. It was the eighth time the right-hander has surrendered three or more homers in a game during his 10-year career, and the first time since May 16, 2013 at Colorado in an 8-6 win. The Dodgers’ last run off him came on Andre Ethier’s sacrifice fly in the sixth.
Cain, who gave up a career-worst 23 home runs last season, threw Kemp a 1-0 pitch that ended up in the pavilion seats in left-center with two out in the second. It ended the two-time All-Star’s homerless drought of 140 at-bats at Chavez Ravine since his go-ahead two-run shot off Colorado’s Jorge De La Rosa on Sept. 30, 2012.
Kemp did it again his next time up, this time to right-center on an 0-1 delivery after a double by Adrian Gonzalez. It was his sixth career multihomer game and first since Sept. 29, 2012.
Kemp was activated from the disabled list on Friday, after injuries limited him to 73 games last season and forced him to undergo surgery on his is left ankle and shoulder. Manager Don Mattingly chose not to start him in the series opener, but reversed his decision after benching right fielder Yasiel Puig for arriving late to the ballpark.
Five hits. Four home runs. Five RBI. Five runs. One great night. pic.twitter.com/Nonh45OWBk
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) April 7, 2014
Puig didn’t play Sunday, either. This time it was because of a swollen left thumb, which occurred on Saturday when he made a headfirst slide into first base on an infield hit. Puig finished that game, then left the ballpark earlier Sunday to get an MRI exam before rejoining his teammates in the dugout before the start of this one.
Ramirez homered to center field in the eighth against David Huff, capping his 15th career multihomer game.
Giants center fielder Angel Pagan singled his first two times up for San Francisco’s only hits through the first four innings — and robbed Greinke of an extra-base hit in the third with a diving catch in left-center.
Greinke got his first hit of the season his next time up, however, driving a ground-rule double to left-center in the fifth. He had 19 hits last season, the most by a Dodgers pitcher since Orel Hershiser’s 26 in 1993, and earned a Silver Slugger Award for having the highest batting average by any pitcher (.328).
NOTES: Kemp, who hit a career-high 39 home runs in 2011, entered Sunday with two homers and three RBIs in 54 career at-bats against Cain. … San Francisco begins its home schedule Tuesday night, with Tim Hudson making his official Giants debut against Arizona’s Trevor Cahill. … This is the first season since 2003 that the Giants won at least six of their first seven road games. That year, they won their first eight. … Mattingly has decided to back off on LHP Hyun-Jim Ryu and give him an extra day’s rest after he started three of the team’s first six games due to Clayton Kershaw’s first career stint on the disabled list. … Dodgers RHP Josh Beckett, whose season debut has been delayed by calf and ankle issues after he underwent thoracic outlet syndrome surgery last year, threw a bullpen session Sunday and could start Wednesday’s interleague game against Detroit if he comes out of it all right.