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Kemp powers Dodgers to emphatic finale win

Dodgers slugger leads off 2nd and 3rd innings with clouts
July 22, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Matt Kemp and the Dodgers' offense showed the National League a glimpse of their full potential on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.Kemp continued his career resurgence by leading off back-to-back innings with homers and Manny Machado smacked his first extra-base hit with the Dodgers, who trounced Milwaukee, 11-2,

MILWAUKEE -- Matt Kemp and the Dodgers' offense showed the National League a glimpse of their full potential on Sunday afternoon at Miller Park.
Kemp continued his career resurgence by leading off back-to-back innings with homers and Manny Machado smacked his first extra-base hit with the Dodgers, who trounced Milwaukee, 11-2, to seal a series win. With four teams entering Sunday within four games of first place in the National League West, Los Angeles' offensive outburst put the division on notice.
"I can't imagine a much deeper lineup," Dodgers starter Alex Wood said. "It's the deepest one I've ever played with. It feels like we have eight guys every night, and it's, 'Who's going to be the game-changer?' It's a lot of fun to be out there pitching."

The Dodgers' lead in the NL West remained at 1 1/2 games due to the D-backs' win over the Rockies on Sunday.
After the Brewers struck for two runs off Wood in the first inning, Los Angeles scored 11 unanswered runs, triggered by a 422-foot moonshot from Kemp to lead off the second, which turned into the first of two five-run innings for the Dodgers.

Then, one night after Los Angeles committed three errors that led to three unearned runs against Clayton Kershaw, the Brewers opened the door for the Dodgers offense when first baseman Ryan Braun missed Enrique Hernandez's fly ball in shallow right field.

Braun's miscue was ruled as a hit, and John Forsythe followed Hernandez with a single up the middle. After a strikeout from Austin Barnes, Wood laid down a one-out sacrifice bunt before a two-run single from Chris Taylor and back-to-back RBI doubles from Machado and Justin Turner, who exited the game due to right groin tightness.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts praised the ability of the bottom of the lineup to set up the second-inning chance for Taylor, Machado and Turner at the top of the card.
"Situational hitting, the sac flies, got a bunt down early -- that was a big part of it with [Wood] getting a bunt down -- [Taylor] with a two-out hit," Roberts said. "That right there was big."

Kemp, who made his first All-Star team this season since 2012, also led off the third with his 17th home run, completing a six-run outing for Brewers starter Brent Suter. Kemp smashed the ball 405 feet to right-center field, which is where he said he has been trying to hit over the past few weeks.
"I'm just working on trying to stay right-center," Kemp said. "I've been pulling off a lot of balls the last couple of weeks and haven't hit the ball as hard as I wanted to. Just got to keep working and stick to that approach."
The Dodgers tagged Brewers reliever Taylor Williams for five more runs in the fifth inning, highlighted by run-scoring hits from Forsythe and Barnes.

Up nine after six innings, Los Angeles was held scoreless over the final three innings by Brewers second baseman Hernan Perez and catcher Erik Kratz on the mound. The sideshow included Wood striking out against Perez, who threw a 56-mph changeup and 79-mph fastball during the at-bat.
On facing a position player, Wood joked, "It was more difficult than I imagined it would be.
"But anytime we make the other team throw a position player, it's usually a good day."
Wood escapes first-inning jam: Like the Dodgers on Saturday, the Brewers scored two first-inning runs Sunday, but it could have been worse if not for Wood inducing an inning-ending double play. With the bases loaded and one out, Perez grounded right back to Wood, who threw to home for the forceout. Barnes completed the 1-2-3 double play with a throw to first.
Wood settled in after the first, surrendering just two hits and striking out four over his final five innings.
On Wood's outing as a whole, Roberts said: "There were some good plays made behind him today and he competed, and I thought after that first inning, there were some close pitches that didn't go our way. There was some hard contact, there were some other balls that found holes. I thought today wasn't his sharpest day, but he just willed himself to get through six innings."
"Our mantra is to give our team a chance to win," Wood said. "We can have a huge inning against anyone at any time, so just keeping the guys in it and keeping the game close. I just want those guys to go to work."

Kemp's multi-homer game was the 13th of his career, and his first since April 29, 2017, which also came at Miller Park. The first home run was Kemp's 465th extra-base hit with the Dodgers, breaking a tie with Jackie Robinson for 11th in club history.
"This is a good ballpark to hit in," Kemp said. "A lot of guys have had a lot of success here. I don't know what my numbers are here throughout my career, but I tend to see the ball pretty good, and I think overall, as a team, we did pretty good hitting as a team this series."

Between solid contact and flashy defense, Machado's first two games as a Dodger were, according to Roberts, impressive. On Sunday, he finally contributed as the run producer that Los Angeles expects him to be in the second half, driving in Taylor on a second-inning RBI double -- his first extra-base hit and RBI as a Dodger. He scored his first run for Los Angeles on Turner's double, after collecting three hits and two walks during the first two games of the series.
"You throw a guy like that in our lineup that is already dangerous," Kemp said, "and it makes it even worse for the other team. He has good at-bats, every at-bat. He takes walks, hits the ball hard, and that trickles down and affects you."

"No, never seen it. I didn't know [the radar gun] registered that low." -- Roberts, on if he had ever seen a pitch as slow as Perez's 48-mph changeup in the seventh inning
The Dodgers send right-hander Thomas Stripling (8-2, 2.08 ERA) to the mound as they continue their 10-game road trip to open the second half in Philadelphia. Stripling hurled six shutout innings in his last start in San Diego before enjoying his first All-Star selection. Right-hander Zach Eflin (7-2, 3.15) starts for the Phillies, having allowed five runs in four innings against the Dodgers in May.

Stephen Cohn is a reporter for based in Milwaukee. Follow him on Twitter @Stephen__Cohn.