Matt Kemp adds capper to the Dodgers' home season in 8-2 win
And so ends another season at Dodger Stadium. Can’t say it wasn’t memorable, on the field and off.
The Dodgers completed their 2011 at home Thursday with an 8-2 victory over the Giants before an announced crowd of 37,560 that once again saw Matt Kemp polishing off his MVP resume.
Kemp had three doubles and a two-run homer. It was Kemp’s 36th home run of the season and he looks like a guy trying to hit one almost every at-bat now. And almost managing it.
He was once again greeted with frequent chants of "MVP," and when he hit his towering two-run homer in the eighth inning, the crowd brought him out for a curtain call. The four hits raised his season average to .326.
The victory left the Dodgers 42-39 at home for the year. Not exactly the stuff of their dreams, but not the nightmare at which it once hinted.
And in the short term, they took two of three games from a Giants team that came in on an eight-game winning streak but left with their playoff hopes severely damaged. So it was hardly all bad.
The Dodgers had Tom Lasorda in the dugout as an honorary coach on his 84th birthday, Kemp going nuts at the plate and right-hander Hiroki Kuroda limiting the Giants to two runs in his seven-plus innings.
Kuroda gave up a solo home run to Carlos Beltran in the first inning, but the Dodgers came right back in the bottom of the inning against Madison Bumgarner with Kemp’s first double and Juan Rivera's two-run homer.
They scored twice more in the fifth inning on Kemp’s second double –- this one off the center-field wall, three successive walks and a Jamey Carroll groundout.
Kuroda (13-16) took his 6-1 lead into the seventh inning, when Pablo Sandoval led off with his 21st home run. When he then gave up a leadoff single in the eighth inning, Don Mattingly called on Kenley Jansen, the hottest reliever in baseball. After a walk, Jansen retired the next three Giants in order.
Kuroda, 36, gave up the two runs on five hits. He struck out four and did not walk a batter in what might prove his final start at Dodger Stadium. He will become a free agent at the end of the season.
Kemp’s blast in the eighth inning off Barry Zito went out to almost dead center.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Matt Kemp hits a two-run home run during the eighth inning of the Dodgers' 8-2 victory Thursday over the San Francisco Giants. Credit: Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times