Matt Kemp Homers In Dodgers Win, But Triple Crown Chances Take A Hit

If Matt Kemp gets six hits in eight at-bats over the final two games, he would need both Jose Reyes and Ryan Braun to go 0-for-8 to pass them in batting average.

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Dodgers Vs. Diamondbacks: Matt Kemp Homers In 4-2 Win

Matt Kemp obliterated a pitch from Daniel Hudson in the first inning for a three-run home run, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 4-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday night at Chase Field. The win assured a winning record for the Dodgers (81-78), a remarkable feat considering they were 57-69 on August 21. Kemp has the outright National League lead with both 38 home runs and 123 RBI, but Jose Reyes and Ryan Braun refuse to cooperate in Matt Kemp's triple crown quest.

Kemp's home run was his only hit in four at-bats on Monday, lowering his batting average to .324. Reyes collected three hits in four at-bats for the New York Mets against the Cincinnati Reds, and is now leading the NL with a .333962 average. Braun didn't start for the Milwaukee Brewers, but hit a pinch-hit double against the Pittsburgh Pirates, giving him an average of .333932, very narrowly behind Reyes but miles ahead of Kemp.

Even if Kemp were to collect six hits in eight at-bats over the final two days of the regular season, his batting average would be .3295. He would need an 0-for-8 slump from both Braun (.3292) and Reyes (.3290) to win the batting title.

Oh well, at least Kemp still has two days left to join the 40/40 club. He needs two home runs.

Dana Eveland pitched 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the win, walking none and striking out five. Eveland is 3-0 in three road starts for the Dodgers, allowing a total of one run. Jerry Sands extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the eighth inning Monday night.

Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Dodgers on Tuesday night, in what could be his last start with the team. Kuroda will be a free agent after the season, and he has not yet decided whether or not to return to the Dodgers or home to his native Japan. Jarrod Parker, the ninth overall selection in the 2007 MLB draft, starts for the Diamondbacks on Tuesday, making his major league debut.

For more on the Dodgers and Kemp's quest for the Crown, check out True Blue LA.

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Matt Kemp Stats: Where Dodgers' Outfielder Stands In Triple Crown Chase

Matt Kemp is so close to the National League Triple Crown, has one category locked up (119 RBIs), and has a good chance to win another (tied with Albert Pujols at 37 home runs). but he's going to have to pick up the hitting to pass Ryan Braun of the Milwaukee Brewers and Jose Reyes of the New York Mets with regards to batting average. Braun is currently hitting .3327, Reyes .3308, Kemp .3243.

Eric Stephen of True Blue LA has done a good job calculating what Kemp needs to win the crown, stating that if Kemp goes 15 for 15, he'd finish at .3411. Since that's highly unlikely, anything around .500 hitting would put him close to .330, and that would mean that Reyes and Braun would have to slip up a little down the stretch (1 for 14? 2 for 15?) to get Kemp first place in batting average.

Kemp will need a bit of a surge to finish off the season to pass those two, and would probably need to either hit a lot or hope Braun and Reyes endure serious cold streaks to end the season.  But it'll be most likely a combination of both will be needed for the Dodger to claim his Triple Crown. 

For more on the Dodgers and Kemp's quest for the Crown, check out True Blue LA.

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Triple Crown Watch: Matt Kemp Needs Hits, Ryan Braun Sits

The amount of hits needed by Matt Kemp over the final three games to win the National League batting title is unknown. What we do know is that Kemp will need a lot of hits, and likely some help from both Ryan Braun and Jose Reyes, who are ahead of Kemp. The Los Angeles Dodgers close out their regular season against the Arizona Diamonadbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix.

Ryan Braun is not in the starting lineup for the Milwaukee Brewers against the Pittsburgh Pirates, so he will not have the opportunities to have his .33273 batting average drop, something sorely needed by Kemp, who enters Monday at .32428.

Here are the starting lineups for the series opener between the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in Phoenix.

Dodgers (80-78)

Gordon SS
Sands RF
Kemp CF
Rivera LF
Loney 1B
Miles 3B
Ellis C
Sellers 2B
Eveland P

Diamondbacks (93-66)

Roberts 3B
Hill 2B
Young CF
Montero C
Goldschmidt 1B
Cowgill LF
Parra RF
McDonald SS
Hudson P

Monday's 6:40 p.m. PDT game will be televised by Prime Ticket. Be sure to read True Blue LA for detailed Dodgers analysis, such as a breakdown of Dana Eveland and other Dodgers fifth starters this season.

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Matt Kemp Takes Triple Crown Show To Arizona As Dodgers Face Diamondbacks

Matt Kemp needs three home runs to become the fifth member of the 40/40 club.

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