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Kemp continues tear with three-run homer

MLB.com @kengurnick

LOS ANGELES -- Whether the Dodgers have been hot or cold this year, Matt Kemp has delivered. He was at it again on Friday night, launching a towering three-run homer in the first inning off former Padres teammate Clayton Richard, the difference in a 4-1 win.

Kemp, who went 3-for-4 in the game, was asked whether he remembered the last time the Dodgers hit a three-run homer. He didn't. It was him, on April 16 against the Padres.

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LOS ANGELES -- Whether the Dodgers have been hot or cold this year, Matt Kemp has delivered. He was at it again on Friday night, launching a towering three-run homer in the first inning off former Padres teammate Clayton Richard, the difference in a 4-1 win.

Kemp, who went 3-for-4 in the game, was asked whether he remembered the last time the Dodgers hit a three-run homer. He didn't. It was him, on April 16 against the Padres.

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"Oh, wow. That's not good," said Kemp. "Maybe we need to hit some more. I'm going to remember that, tell the guys that tomorrow."

It was the sixth home run of the season for Kemp, who returned to the Dodgers in an offseason trade with the Braves, cashing in on back-to-back walks to Chris Taylor and Justin Turner.

It was Kemp's third home run against Richard, his fourth against San Diego this year and his 21st vs. the Padres in his career. This year alone, he is 15-for-26 against San Diego with four homers, 12 RBIs and a 1.623 OPS.

"He's been fantastic," said manager Dave Roberts. "Every at-bat, he's just grinding. Really, a tough out and he's getting big hits for us, taking the walk when he needs to. Defensively, he's considerably better than the past few years. Just a staple in the middle of the order is what he's been for us."

Kemp is leading Dodgers hitters with a .338 average, third in the National League, and he leads the league in batting average with runners in scoring position at .486.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Kemp