Dodgers-A's: Matt Kemp's Late-Inning Heroics Lift Dodgers Past A's, 5-4

Bleacher ReportSenior Analyst IJune 17, 2009

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 16:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers celebrates after hitting a base hit scoring the game winning run in the tenth inning against the Oakland Athletics at Dodger Stadium on June 16, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. The Dodgers defeated the Athletics 5-4 in ten innings.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

The Cardiac Kids did it again.

The Los Angeles Dodgers (43-22) improved their record in one-run games to a major league best 15-5 as they found a way to come from behind and beat the visiting Oakland Athletics (27-36).

Dallas Braden turned in an excellent start for the A's but took a no decision after pitching six innings an allowing only four hits.

He surrendered just two runs and retired the first 14 Dodger batters before Matt Kemp launched a two-out double off the left-center field wall in the fifth.

Young Clayton Kershaw was able to bounce back after an ugly start against the Padres last week in which he left after just two-and-two-thirds innings. Kershaw went five-and-two-thirds innings Tuesday night and didn’t allow a run on just four hits while striking out eight.

After mounting a 2-0 lead in the sixth, the Dodgers had to come from behind when Jason Giambi launched a home run off of reliever Ramon Troncoso in the top of the eighth. The laser-beam line drive landed just over the right-center field wall to give the A's a 3-2 lead. 

Just two batters later, Bobby Crosby went deep for an insurance run and a 4-2 lead. Previous to this outing, Troncoso had recorded 13 and one-third scoreless innings. 

Los Angeles scored the tying run in the eighth when Kemp broke a double play attempt.

A’s shortstop Orlando Cabrera took an aggressive slide from Kemp, which disrupted his motion and forced Cabrera to hold onto the ball. The slide allowed Casey Blake to score from third and even the game at 4-4.

Blake drove in a run earlier in the inning with a single and went 2-for-5 with 2 RBI on the evening. 

Kemp was the clutch performer for the Dodgers. He capped off a 3-for-4 night with a single that plated Orlando Hudson with two outs in the bottom of the 10th to notch the 5-4 win.

Guillermo Mota (3-1) pitched a scoreless top of the 10th to earn the victory in relief. 


Other Dodgers’ Notes from Tuesday

A Hard Earned Strike Out

Mitch Jones waited a long time to get his first major league at-bat. He was in the major leagues in ’06 on the Yankees-under manager Joe Torre-but didn’t get a chance to get in the box score.

Finally, at age 31, Jones made an appearance at Dodger Stadium in the eighth inning. Jones pinch-hit and struck out with a full count. Jones was called up from Albuquerque before the game when Blake DeWitt was sent down. 


Free Parking Not the Only Attraction at Chavez Ravine

Former Dodger Nomar Garciaparra returned to his old stomping grounds where he won NL Comeback Player of the Year in ’06. Said Garciaparra to, "Every time I pull into Dodger Stadium, I've always had a good feeling. It always reminds me of when I was a kid, coming here to watch games. That feeling doesn't leave you."

In three seasons with the Dodgers, Nomar hit .289 with 35 home runs and 180 RBI. 


Welcome to the Dodgers, Mr. Nam

The Dodgers signed 18-year old Tae-hyeok Nam to a minor-league contract on Tuesday. Dodgers’ scout Logan White told that Nam has, "good power and well above average speed." Nam is still playing high school ball in Korea right now, and the first/third baseman has crushed 22 home runs in 65 games.