Saturday night featured seven strong innings from both Chad Billingsley and Stephen Strasburg. It featured the major league debut of 19-year old super prospect Bryce Harper. But Dodger Stadium on Saturday night will mostly be remembered for Matt Kemp hitting a walk-off home run to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 4-3 win over the Washington Nationals in 10 innings.
"I can't say enough good things about Matt," said Billingsley, who struck out six while allowing just one run in his seven innings of work.
Javy Guerra faltered for the third game in a row, leading to a 3-1 lead for Washington heading into the bottom of the ninth, but the Dodgers rallied for two runs on three hits and three wild pitches to tie the game and send it into extra innings.
"Even during that game I was proud of those guys, the way they bounced back in the ninth," manager Don Mattingly said. "To go down a couple runs to that club over there late, then to be able to scratch those runs out and be able to win it like that, it's really a good feeling for our club."
Kemp's home run was his 11th of the season, breaking the Dodgers franchise record for home runs in April, previously set by Gary Sheffield 12 years ago. After his game-winning homer off southpaw Tom Gorzelanny, Kemp now has 16 hits in 27 at-bats against left-handers this season, with five home runs.
The crowd of 54,242 at Dodger Stadium chanted "M-V-P" for Kemp after the game as his postgame interview for television was played on the left field video board.
"It's always good to see the crowd. That's the Dodger Stadium I remember, two or three years ago," Kemp said after the game. "Every Friday and Saturday we were filling out the whole stands with 56,000 screaming fans. It helps a lot when you have those guys on your side. We have some great fans and if we could get them to come out to more games it would be way easier to win games."
Chris Capuano starts the finale for the Dodgers, who go for the sweep facing Gio Gonzalez for Washington.
For more Dodgers news and notes, be sure to read True Blue LA.