The Los Angeles Dodgers got a much needed victory on Wednesday afternoon, and a familiar face provided the enjoyment. Matt Kemp hit a two-run home run off Jake Diekman in the 12th inning to give the Dodgers a 5-3 walk-off win over the Philadelphia Phillies to salvage a game in their three-game series.
The Dodgers had lost four straight games and 19 of their last 25 contests heading into Wednesday, but Kemp's home run changed all that.
"This was a nice win for our club," said manager Don Mattingly. "You never know if this is going to be the one that starts us rolling in the other direction."
It was the first home run for Kemp since April 30, a drought exacerbated by Kemp missing 51 games with a pair of left hamstring strains.
The game began as a fantastic pitchers duel between Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee, each of whom allowed one run in eight innings. Kershaw walked none and struck out seven and threw a career-high 120 pitches.
Lee, who is just 1-6 this season despite a 3.72 ERA, has nine no-decisions this season. In those no-decisions he has a 2.81 ERA with 56 strikeouts and 13 walks.
Both teams loaded the bases in the ninth inning off relievers but didn't score. Then Hunter Pence hit a bases loaded single to give Philadelphia a 3-1 lead. But the Dodgers rallied for two off Jonathan Papelbon, who pitched for the third day in a row.
Kemp's home run off Diekman was his sixth this season off left-handed pitching, against whom Kemp is hitting a robust .477 (21-for-44) on the year.
The Dodgers are off on Thursday, but head to Citi Field in New York to battle the Mets for a weekend series starting Friday night. Aaron Harang starts the opener for the Dodgers, against Johan Santana for New York.
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