Notes: LA glad to have Kemp back
Outfielder recalled after thriving at the plate in Triple-A
LOS ANGELES -- Outfielder Matt Kemp was recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas before Friday night's game against the Blue Jays, and according to manager Grady Little, he could be seeing action immediately.
"He's not starting, but he'll see action," Little said.
As for where he'll see that action, the manager was not as forthcoming.
"He'll get his share of playing time," Little said. "Could be all over the outfield. Where? I don't know. When? I don't know. He was playing awfully well at Triple-A, and we're glad to have him on board."
Kemp went 6-for-14 with the Dodgers in April before being optioned. He was batting .329 with four home runs and 20 RBIs in Las Vegas, and he had a 14-game hitting streak end on Thursday night.
To make room for Kemp, Ramon Martinez was placed on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to Monday, with lower back pain.
"It's been bothering him since Monday or Tuesday," Little said. "He tried to get better for a day or so, but it went the other direction the day before yesterday."
While Little wouldn't elaborate on how serious the problem was, he admitted that Martinez could have played Friday, but not at 100 percent.
"I don't know what happened, but I know what a sore lower back feels like," Little said. "You have trouble playing, so we're going to give it a break."
Interleague returns: In a fight for the National League West, the Dodgers found themselves playing outside the division, the league and the country on Friday night. As Interleague Play resumes, Los Angeles is playing the team farthest away geographically, while trying to stay as close as possible to the top in the NL West.
Interleague Play poses a number of unique challenges, most notably playing a team that you aren't very familiar with. While scouts and tape help a little, nothing beats hands-on experience.
"We have a lot of history with the ballclub," Little said. "Our bench coach has been in the American League, and we have an advanced scout who's watched them play."
In addition, with so many players changing uniform, there is no longer such a thing as a team that is completely unknown.
"We have some familiarity with most of the players," said Little, "and for the ones that we don't have, we've watched a lot of video in the last 48 hours."
There is also the advantage of playing at home, as it changes Toronto's fundamental lineup.
"When you are talking about an American League team in a National League park, you are taking someone out of the middle of your order," Little said. "In tonight's case, it's Frank Thomas, and you're replacing him with a pitcher at the bottom."
Of course, a player such as Thomas can come off the bench to pinch-hit late in the game.
As Little pointed out, though, it really doesn't matter how much you know about the team you are facing, you still have to go out and play them on the field.
"We'll get as much knowledge as we can," he said. "Outside of that, there isn't much we can do outside of go out there and play."
Changing lineups, scouting and experience are all helpful, but as Little summed it up, "You still have to play good up and down the order if you want to win. If we play like we played in San Diego it doesn't matter, you're not going to win."
Down on the farm: Class A Inland Empire's Alberto Bastardo had his best outing of the season, striking out a season-high eight and allowing a season-low two hits in six innings, as the 66ers defeated Modesto, 4-1. Bastardo is now 3-2 with a 6.20 ERA in six starts.
In Midwest League action, infielder Adolfo Gonzalez had three hits, including a home run, to lead the Class A Great Lake Loons to a 6-4 victory over Fort Wayne. The second baseman is now hitting .364 in 107 at-bats.
On deck: Derek Lowe (6-5, 3.44 ERA) takes the mound Saturday for the Dodgers in the the middle game of the three-game series with Toronto. Shaun Marcum (2-2, 4.06 ERA) gets the call for the Blue Jays in the 7:10 p.m. PT start.
Glenn Rabney is a contributor for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.