Kemp homers for Dodgers in 6-4 win over Arizona
Thursday, March 17, 2011; 9:24 PM
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Questioning their offense for much of the spring, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally got an answer.
Three of them, really.
Matt Kemp homered off Aaron Heilman and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-4 Thursday.
Hector Gimenez and Gabe Kapler hit consecutive homers off Rafael Rodriguez to give Los Angeles the lead in the eighth inning.
"The power guys are sometimes the last to get it going in spring," said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, whose club ranked last among all major league teams in hitting with a .245 batting average entering Thursday.
Los Angeles went 12 for 34 as a team against the Diamondbacks and the three homers put the Dodgers spring-training total at 18, in 22 games.
"I think we're going to be all right," said Mattingly, the Dodgers' former hitting coach. "I really do."
Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley allowed four hits and three earned runs in five innings.
"I got a lot of work in today," said Billingsley, who went five innings, throwing 83 pitches while allowing four hits and three earned runs. "My curveball hasn't been coming out my hand the right way. But my arm feels strong. Overall, I was happy. I feel like I'm right on track."
Jay Gibbons returned to the club Thursday from an eye doctor in San Francisco, where he got a new contact lens for his left eye. The old one kept popping out of his eye.
Gibbons singled to right field in his first at-bat Thursday.
"A night-and-day difference," said Gibbons, who before the single was 2-for-22 with five strikeouts this spring. "The way I see it, my spring training starts now."
Gibbons, who had Lasik surgery in 2004, said he was relieved to get the single.
"I could really look into the ball," said Gibbons, who was 1 for 2 against the Diamondbacks.
Miguel Montero had two hits and drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks.
Heilman gave up six hits and two runs in five innings.
NOTES: The Dodgers celebrated St. Patrick's Day by wearing green caps and green jerseys. ... The Diamondbacks face Seattle Friday in Peoria. Right-hander Daniel Hudson is scheduled to start for Arizona against LHP Jason Vargas. ... The Dodgers re-assigned infielder Justin Sellers and outfielder Jerry Sands Thursday.