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MLB: Kemp comes up with the answer

All-Star outfielder blasts a walk-off two-run homer in the 12th inning

Posted: July 18, 2012 9:54 p.m.
Updated: July 18, 2012 9:54 p.m.

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp, center, is swarmed by teammates after hitting a walk-off home run against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday in Los Angeles.

 

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The game began with an intense pitcher’s duel between Cy Young Award-winning left-handers Clayton Kershaw and Cliff Lee. That lasted for eight innings. It ended four innings later with slugger Matt Kemp doing what he does best.

Kemp hit a two-run homer in the 12th, giving the Los Angeles Dodgers a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday.

Rookie left-hander Jake Diekman (2-0) walked Mark Ellis with one out and Kemp drove a 1-0 pitch the other way into the pavilion seats in right-center for his 13th home run and sixth career walkoff homer, capping the 4-hour, 25-minute marathon.

“I was struggling all day, I had to do something, man,” Kemp said. “I think we were all getting a little frustrated and a little tired, but we fought until the end. We got the ‘W’ and that’s all that matters. It feels good to hit that home run. That’s the hardest ball I’ve hit since I’ve been back (from the disabled list). I feel really good. My legs are getting under me.”

Jamey Wright (4-2), the sixth Dodgers pitcher, worked one inning for the victory as the Dodgers ended a four-game losing streak.

Hunter Pence hit a two-run single in the 10th with the bases loaded to give Philadelphia a 3-1 lead. But the Dodgers responded with two runs in the bottom half against closer Jonathan Papelbon, whose blown save was his third in 24 opportunities.

Pinch hitter and former Phillie Bobby Abreu had an RBI single and scored the tying run when Kemp beat out an infield single to deep shortstop with two outs and runners at the corners. The rally also included a dribbler to the left of the mound by Tony Gwynn Jr. that Papelbon couldn’t make a play on.

“It’s tough. It’s one of those outings where you really can’t do very much about it,” Papelbon said.

 

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