Matt Kemp is an island. On a Dodgers team hurting for offense, he is a great, big, beautiful island in an empty sea.
It’s a wonder anyone ever pitches to him. Not that he’s obtained Barry Bonds stature, but he has so little else around him in the lineup that’s truly threatening.
Kemp continued his memorable season Friday night against the Diamondbacks, driving in five runs to lead the Dodgers to 9-5 victory before an announced Dodger Stadium crowd of 35,169.
Kemp hit a three-run homer in the third and added a two-run single in the fourth.
That left Kemp with a team-leading 25 home runs and 80 RBIs. Second best on the team in both categories is Andre Ethier at 10 and 48.
Kemp became the fifth fastest player in National League history to reach 25 home runs and 25 stolen bases. Only Eric Davis, Howard Johnson, Alfonso Soriano and Bonds have gotten there faster.
The nine runs were the most the Dodgers have scored in a single game since June 27, when they stomped the Twins 15-0. Also known as the day Frank McCourt declared the Dodgers bankrupt.
The beneficiary of the offensive outburst was left-hander Ted Lilly, who came in on all the wrong kind of momentum. In his last seven starts, he was 2-5 with a 7.47 ERA.
He wasn’t exactly brilliant Friday -- he gave up two more home runs, both solo shots, to give him 23 on the season -- but was effective enough. He went five innings, giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks, bringing his record to 7-10.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp (27) is congratulated by right fielder Andre Ethier (16) and third baseman Aaron Miles (left) after hitting a three-run home run against the Diamondbacks on Friday night. Credit: Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times