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Kemp does the dramatics again, two-run homer lifts Dodgers over Braves in 12 innings, 5-3

Kemp5 Is this how they played games in the ’40s?

Up and down, long and winding, blown leads and then dramatic comebacks?

It worked for the Dodgers on their throwback jersey Thursday when Matt Kemp overcame a rough afternoon by hitting a two-run homer in the bottom of the 12th to leave the Dodgers with a 5-3 victory over the Braves.

It was Kemp’s second walk-off home run of the eight-game homestand. Kemp was 0-for-4 with three strikeouts Thursday in his Brooklyn uniform until connecting off Atlanta/Boston reliever Cristhian Martinez (the Braves wore throwbacks for their franchise's original hometown too).

The victory evened the Dodgers' record at 10-10, and left them 2-0 under Major League Baseball control.

The Dodgers, who were 14th in the National League in home runs, had three on the day.

After the Braves took a 3-2 lead on a pair of runs with a two-out rally in the top of the ninth, the Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the inning against Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel on a two-out single by Casey Blake. Blake also homered Thursday.

Starter Clayton Kershaw had been breezing, just one out away from the Dodgers’ second consecutive complete-game four-hitter, when it all came undone.

He had a one-run lead in the ninth and had retired the first two Atlanta Braves. He was one out away from his second career complete game.

Then a rally started innocently enough with a little single by Chipper Jones. Then came a basehit by Dan Uggla to left fielder Jerry Sands that the rookie threw to third, allowing Uggla to just slide into second. A walk to Freddie Freeman loaded the bases.

That brought a visit to the mound by Manager Don Mattingly, and seemingly the end of Kershaw’s afternoon. Kershaw had already thrown 119 pitches.

But Mattingly turned away from the mound to cheers, leaving Kershaw behind with the chance to finish it against ex-Dodger David Ross.

Ross had only one RBI on the young season, but his soft single to left scored two and left the Braves up, 3-2.

Jonathan Broxton came on to get the ninth’s final out, Kershaw finishing by allowing five hits, walking four and striking out seven. Known for not going deep into games, he threw 122 pitches.

He had a two-hitter going into the ninth. The only run he had allowed was a solo home run to Freeman in the fifth.

The Dodgers countered that with solo home runs from Juan Uribe, his first of the season, and Blake, also his first. Blake’s home run in the seventh put the Dodgers up, 2-1.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Matt Kemp hits a two-run home run in the 12th inning to lift the Dodgers to a 5-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday afternoon. Credit: Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times

 
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Love them Dodgers!!! Kemp always pulls thru!!!

You know what would impress me with Kemp? If said to Mattingly, "I'll work on the strikeouts, Coach". He doesn't have to talk to us about it. He's apparently shown quite a bit of growth over the offseason. From a fantasy perspctive, I've believed in the man. I'm the only one in our league who has EVER owned him. Even after a down year like last year, the guy has the athleticism, he's just neeeded the right mindset. If Donnie Baseball like your effort, you're A-ok. Don't do it for my fantasy team or others, Do it for the Dodgers and Matt Kemp. Lay down the bunt if you're asked to, be the team guy that you seem to be now. With that, All the other things will come


Are the Dodger's reborn with the end of the McCheap era?

Let's hope so.

Go Blue

Apparently, letting the starting pitcher attempt to finish well pitched ballgames is a part of Donnie Baseball. A welcome throwback, indeed.

Feels nice to root for the team without feeling McCourt benefitted from it. He may have today, in some small monetary way, but it doesn't matter any more because he's packing his bags and he won't be here much longer while we will finally continue to get to enjoy the team without him.

Any Kemp doubters left? Will he continue at times to look bad? Is he human and a great player at the same time?

I would not dump on Mattingly today after he left Kershaw in to blow it. Otherwise he would have had to bring Broxton in, who was warming up. All Kershaw needed was one little out to complete the game, and he gave up a 2-run single. Mattingly's confidence in him, and Kershaw's growing awareness he may not have it any more while the mgr is standing next to him on the mound, are both good things for K2 to have experienced. Thanks to Blake and Kemp, two guys excoriated by fans all winter, the 2 runs he then gave up didn't matter.

For those reasons, and that the Dodgers finished off winning 3 of 4 against the Braves, 2 of the wins in the post-McCourt era that will last forever, a very satisfying win.

Now to Wrigley, where the underachieving Dodgers of '10 lost 2 of 3, one of them 1-0. Let's see if they, too, feel now as if released from prison, and beat the Cubs, as they should.

The Dodgers are starting to come through in the clutch or at least they have been lately and somehow look like they are out of last years 2nd half duldrums. Or is it that they somehow, in the last two days, experienced some freedom from something. What ever it is I hope it keeps up.

i think donnie's decision to leave kershaw in had more to do with his lack of confidence in broxton. a day after expressing his confidence in broxton, he refused to use him in an obvious position tonight. if gagne or saito (when they were healthy) was our closer, no doubt they would have been in the game at that point. donnie obviously wanted to see a tired kershaw against ross rather than broxton against mccann. me? i guess i would have done the same thing. but if i had gagne or saito, i'm sorry, kershaw would have been out of there as soon as he gave up the hit to sub-200 hitting Uggla. but, great win anyway. kemp looks like he coming back to earth but he still has a few rockets left. ethier is still firing on all cylinders and it looks like uribe and blake are starting to hit. but, still looking for loney...where are you james????

Looks as if all my hard work blogging #27 into submission this past off-season is paying off.


For the second time now, do note he did not pound his own chest & point at some imaginary giftor skyward aft a home run.


Such is the measure of a man, a prima donna no more.


KEep Making Progress.

Fun game, with a bit of nail-biting. Well done, Kershaw and Kemp, Uribe and Blake!

Somewhat lost in this: Broxton did actually hold, when he was let out of the "time out" corner.

I agree that if Gagne or Saito were in the pen, Kershaw is yanked after the first hit. Too, this could be Donnie learning on the job as well.

He went deep with Kuroda earlier and Garland the night before. Looks like he is more Lasorda than Torre. Just hope he doesn't burn out his starters by the All-Star break and more importantly, Kershaw is strong enough to come back from this 122 pitch outing.

Perhaps its time for Dodgers fans to start going back to games and supporting this team now that the McCourt era is over.

wow no comments from chumpykemp? where you at hater? Kemp should of never been considered for trade bait by any Dodger fans, he's uber-talented, human as well so mistakes will happen, but more than anything he's a stand up guy. Kemp never gets in trouble or does boneheaded things.


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