For the second time in five days, Matt Kemp hit a walk-off home run, today giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 5-3 win over the Atlanta Braves in the final game of a four-game series at Dodger Stadium. Kemp, who hit a two-run home run off Ryan Franklin to beat St. Louis on Sunday, crushed an 0-2 slider by Cristhian Martinez in the 12th inning for a game-ending two-run homer.
The Dodgers almost won the game in nine innings. Clayton Kershaw had allowed one run on two hits with two outs in the ninth inning, but Kershaw never got that final out. After two hits and a walk loaded the bases and pushed Kershaw's pitch count to 119, manager Don Mattingly visited the mound. The Dodgers were up 2-1, and closer Jonathan Broxton was fully warmed up in the bullpen. Mattingly stuck with Kershaw to face the right-handed David Ross, rather than have Broxton likely face the left-handed hitting Brian McCann, the best catcher in the National League.
Kershaw allowed a two-run single to Ross, giving the Braves the lead, then Broxton came in and struck out Nate McLouth to end the inning. The Dodgers tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on an RBI single by Casey Blake, after a walk to Jamey Carroll and a wild pitch. Blake also homered in the seventh inning.
Juan Uribe hit his first home run as a Dodger, a solo shot in the fifth inning. Andre Ethier had two hits in five at-bats, extending his hitting streak to 18 games, the longest in MLB this season. The Dodgers begin a road trip on Friday at Wrigley Field.
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