Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Matt Kemp blasted the game-winning two-run home run in the eighth inning to carry Los Angeles to a 3-1 comeback win over Arizona to wrap up a three-game set.
Rafael Furcal doubled and scored twice for Los Angeles, which continued its mastery of the Diamondbacks by winning for a tenth time in 12 games against them this season.
Hong-Chih Kuo (3-1) struck out the side in the seventh and eighth innings and earned the win, while Jonathan Broxton worked a perfect ninth to earn his 17th save for the Dodgers, who have won five of their last six.
Aaron Heilman (2-3) was tagged with the loss in relief after allowing the decisive blow in his lone inning of work for Arizona, which has come up on the losing end in four of its last six contests.
Arizona starter Dan Haren permitted a lone run on six hits over seven frames, while walking two and fanning four, and was followed by Heilman.
Furcal worked a one-out walk and scored when Kemp drove a low and away fastball over the wall in right field to snap a 1-1 tie.
“That was a good one to win” commented Dodger’s skipper Joe Torre. “When you win a ballgame that Danny Haren is pitching, especially when he is throwing that kind of game, that’s a big lift.”
Kuo, who fanned the first five hitters he faced, gave up a two-out double in the eighth to Chris Young before Adam LaRoche took a called third strike to end the frame. Los Angeles starter Chad Billingsley worked six innings during which he gave up a single run on seven hits while issuing one walk and striking out eight.
Broxton fittingly fanned a pair in the ninth, including pinch-hitter Tony Abreu, to end the game, as the trio of Dodgers’ hurlers combined for 16 punchouts.
LaRoche started the home fourth with a double and came into score the game’s first run when Mark Reynolds followed with a triple to center field. However, Reynolds was stranded after Gerardo Parra and Haren struck out swinging and Kelly Johnson took a called third strike one pitch after narrowly missing a home run down the right-field line.
The Dodgers tied the game in the sixth when Furcal led off with a double and scored on a one-out single by Andre Ethier, who learned earlier in the day he would be making his first All-Star Game appearance after being voted in as a starter.
“Me and Billingsley kinda just went back and forth, we both pitched pretty well, worked out of jams,” Haren said. “It was a good battle. I had a feeling it would be low scoring, Billingsley’s real good, he’s been tough on us, as well, so I got what I expected.”
Prior to the game, the D-Backs designated pitcher Dontrelle Willis for assignment and recalled pitcher Jason Norberto from Triple-A Reno…Young was named to the All-Star team for the first time in his career…Johnson was 1-for-4 and has hit safely in 15 of his last 16 at home…Haren had a seven- game hit streak end after he went 0-for-3…Los Angeles is 23-6 against the National League West, the best record of any team in the major leagues within its’ own division…Furcal has hit safely in eight straight, though his streak of seven consecutive multi-hit games came to an end.