05/12/2013 9:49 PM ET
Still seeking power stroke, Kemp records 1,000th hit
By Austin Laymance / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- It's only a matter of time before Matt Kemp's power returns, according to manager Don Mattingly.
Kemp has only one home run in 36 games. The All-Star had 12 homers in his first 36 games last season. And though it was only a single, Kemp's fifth-inning hit in Sunday's 5-3 win was the 1,000th of his career.
"I feel like he's still going to hit his homers," Mattingly said before the Dodgers' Mother's Day win. "They're going to come, but when you're forcing them, they don't seem to come. That's the one thing I don't want him to do, try to force home runs. When he's having good swings and starts to get his hits, the power is right there with it. The more good swings you have, the better chance for the power to be there."
Kemp has been having good swings lately and extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single in the third inning on Sunday. He's batting .319 (15-for-47) during that stretch, with two doubles and four RBIs.
Still, Kemp hasn't homered since hitting a two-run shot to right on April 24 at the Mets.
"He just needs to get to the point where he's driving the ball in the gaps," Mattingly said. "Everybody asks about the home runs and power, it's more about the doubles. That's how you drive in runs. I'm not against homers, don't get me wrong. It's the doubles that end up being the ones that drive in runs."
Kemp has seven doubles and is on pace to eclipse last season's total of 22. He's second on the Dodgers with 14 RBIs.
"Home runs are just something that happens," said Kemp. "My main concern is getting on base and hitting with runners in scoring position."
Still bothered by neck strain, Adrian sits for finale
LOS ANGELES -- Adrian Gonzalez was held out of the lineup Sunday as the Dodgers hope to avoid aggravating a neck strain that has bothered the first baseman for more than a week.
Gonzalez exited Saturday's game after seven innings, but went 2-for-4. The injury does not limit him at the plate, but causes discomfort in the field and on the bases.
The slugger has been getting daily treatment, but has played a full game only three times since suffering the injury on May 1, when he collided with first-base umpire Tony Randazzo as he turned to chase a double down the line by Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez.
"It just seems to keep going on," manager Don Mattingly said before Sunday's series finale against the Marlins. "We're trying to get on the other side of this thing."
Scott Van Slyke, promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday, started at first base in place of Gonzalez and hit fifth.
Gonzalez leads the Dodgers with a .345 average and 26 RBIs. He leads the National League with a .500 average (14-for-28) with runners in scoring position.
Dodgers honor moms, who witness feats in win
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers went to great lengths to show appreciation on Mother's Day.
Before Sunday's 5-3 win against the Marlins, the infield at Dodger Stadium was full of several of the players' mothers, taking photos with their sons and gathering to throw out a barrage of first pitches.
Scott Van Slyke, promoted from Triple-A Albuquerque on Friday and playing in front of his mother, Lauri, hit a solo home run to center field in the second.
"I was just smiling around the bases, because the first thing that came to mind was Mother's Day, and she got to see a home run," said Van Slyke, who added an RBI single in the seventh. "It was pretty fun."
Matt Kemp's mother, Judy, was able to watch the outfielder collect his 1,000th career hit with a single in the fifth.
"It being Mother's Day today, and us getting a good win and playing good, and them getting to throw out the first pitch is always special," Kemp said.
Brandon League came on to pitch the ninth inning, wearing bright pink spikes. His mother, Leigh, traveled from San Francisco to attend the game.
Andre Ethier was the only Dodger to use a pink bat and used it to drive in his 11th run of the season. His mother, Penny, was in attendance.
In recognition of Mother's Day, the Dodgers wore pink wrist bands and pink arm sleeves. The dugout lineup cards were also pink.
Austin Laymance is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.