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04/19/09 9:25 PM ET
Kemp homers twice as LA's streak hits eight
Hudson, Ethier each add three RBIs as Dodgers rout Rockies
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers manager Joe Torre's words before the Dodgers played the Rockies on Sunday proved prophetic. He spoke about seemingly never-ending innings, specifically about how frustrating it is to be the opposing manager when your team allows a barrage of runs in an inning. Luckily for Torre, however, he was on the other side of the spectrum when the Dodgers exploded for seven runs in the fifth inning in their 14-2 blowout win over the Rockies at Dodger Stadium to extend the team's winning streak to a Major League-high eight games. The Dodgers banged out eight hits in the fifth, with the biggest one coming on a grand slam by Matt Kemp with one out that doubled the Dodgers lead to 8-0. "That changed the game right there," Torre said of Kemp, who added another homer in the eighth. "He changed it from 4-0 to 8-0. He certainly has that ability. It's like Alex Rodriguez, and I'm not trying to compare them, but they do their best work when they hit it to center field." Kemp's home run off Matt Belisle came on a 2-0 fastball that Kemp deposited into the right-center-field bleachers for his second career grand slam. "I think when I hit to right field, I'm a better hitter," said Kemp, who has been working with hitting coach Don Mattingley. "I can use my hands, and that's what I did. I was just trying to get a ball to the outfield and get deep, and that's what I did." But the Dodgers were hardly done after the grand slam. Casey Blake doubled and scored on reliever Scott Elbert's first career hit, and Elbert later scored on a single by Orlando Hudson, who came around to score on a single by Andre Ethier. The seven-run inning was the Dodgers' biggest of the young season and it gave them an 11-0 lead. "That was huge," Torre said. "You certainly can't take those for granted. When a pitcher goes out there and hits an RBI double, you know things are going right for you." Rookie James McDonald tossed 4 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out two. His biggest inning came in the second, when he got of a bases loaded jam by getting Dexter Fowler to line out to right field. But McDonald wasn't exactly satisfied with his outing because he didn't go the required five innings for the win, which would have been the first of his career. "It was nothing special," McDonald said. "I wish I could've gone deeper into the game." Instead, McDonald exited with one out in the fifth after walking pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez and Ian Stewart. "We tried to push him to five," Torre said, "but he just couldn't do it. "He battles, but he just hasn't hit his stride. He needs to throw his offspeed stuff with better consistency." Elbert ended up picking up his first Major League win by allowing two runs over 2 1/3 innings. It was a day of firsts for Elbert, as he also picked up his first hit and his first RBI. The Dodgers got on the board early with RBI doubles by Hudson and Ethier in the first inning. They added a run in the second on an RBI single by Hudson and another in the fourth on an RBI double by Rafael Furcal. The Dodgers chased Rockies pitcher Ubaldo Jimenez out of the game after just 4 1/3 innings. Jimenez, who entered the game with a 2.53 ERA, was roughed up for seven runs on seven hits and four walks. "I don't think he had his best stuff," said Russell Martin, who went 2-for-3. "His fastball wasn't reaching what it normally does, but we still had to take advantage of it. And we did that by being patient and waiting for our pitch. We consistently put good at-bats together and wore him out." Hudson finished with three hits and three RBIs and Ethier had three RBIs as well after hitting a sacrifice fly in the seventh. Every Dodger regular had a hit in the game, with James Loney finally getting an RBI single in the seventh. "Today was a good day for all of us," Kemp said. "We put up a lot of hits and a lot of runs. It was great for everyone." The Rockies ended the shutout with home runs by Brad Hawpe and Chris Iannetta in the sixth inning. But the Rockies just didn't match up with the Dodgers, who scored 14 runs for their highest offensive output in a game at Dodger Stadium since also scoring 14 against the Rockies on Sept. 2, 2006. And the Dodgers also tied a club record by going 6-0 at home to start the season while scoring 50 runs in that span for an average of 8.3 per game. "We're getting the blowout wins by doing a lot of things," Torre said. "We're getting a lot of two-out hits and it just isn't the home runs. We've been winning by doing the little things like running the bases and two-out RBIs, which I know are backbreakers for the opponent." But the Dodgers homestand is now over as the team travels for a 10-game road trip that begins on Tuesday in Houston against the Astros. "I'd love to stay here and keep it going, but we have a pretty long road trip," Kemp said. "Hopefully, we'll get 10 wins on the road."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.