Matt Kemp hit two home runs, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium. With the win, the Dodgers now trail the St. Louis Cardinals by two games with four games to play, for the second wild card spot in the National League.
Kemp has three home runs and three doubles in his last four games, shaking off a horrendous slump that saw him hit .159 (13-for-82) in 20 games since crashing into the center field wall at Coors Field in Denver on Aug. 28.
"It feels good to hit balls that hard," Kemp said. "Hopefully I can do that for the next four or five days."
Manager Don Mattingly said he liked what he saw in Kemp's swing and approach the last few days, that the slugger hasn't swung at too many pitches out of the strike zone. And despite dealing with injuries, that hasn't stopped Kemp.
"Matt looked good. We know Matt's banged up," Mattingly said. "Banged up doesn't mean that every swing you take hurts. You have trouble getting loose, you get stiff in the morning, you have stuff going on. It doesn't mean you can't play and still do some things."
Joe Blanton pitched six shutout innings to earn the win, his 10th of the season and second in 10 starts as a Dodger. He struck out six and walked none.
The Dodgers have won four straight games, including two straight shutouts, and have outscored their opponents 27-6 during that span.
Third baseman Luis Cruz left the game after the seventh inning as a precaution. He was hit in the head by his own batted ball while taking batting practice in the Dodgers' indoor batting cage. Cruz said after the game that he felt fine and expcted to pay on Sunday in the series finale against Colorado.
"I just felt a little headache. They told me if I don't feel 100% to tell them, and I came out as a precaution," Cruz said.
Josh Beckett starts for the Dodgers on Sunday, facing Jorge De La Rosa for Colorado.