Matt Kemp Powers Dodgers To 15-0 out of Twins

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Matt Kemp had four hits, including his NL-leading 22nd home run, and the Los Angeles Dodgers had a little fun after a tough day by routing the skidding Minnesota Twins 15-0 Monday night.

Chad Billingsley cruised through six innings, combining with three relievers on Los Angeles’ seventh shutout of the season. Casey Blake had a home run among his three hits for the Dodgers, who filed for bankruptcy protection earlier in the day.

Billingsley (7-6) allowed four hits and struck out four to win his second straight interleague start, backed by an offense that set season highs for runs and hits (24). For the first time in Los Angeles Dodgers history, every starter in the lineup had at least one hit, an RBI and a run scored.

Minnesota starter Nick Blackburn (6-6) lasted 4 1-3 innings, allowing eight runs — seven earned — and 12 hits as the Twins dropped their sixth straight game after an encouraging start to June.

It hasn’t been an easy month for Los Angeles, either.

The Dodgers filed for bankruptcy protection in a Delaware court Monday, blaming Major League Baseball for refusing to approve a multibillion-dollar TV deal that owner Frank McCourt was counting on to keep the troubled franchise afloat.

On the field, Los Angeles was coming off a 4-8 homestand that saw the team sink further in the NL West standings. But the Dodgers got a reprieve from their troubles for one night.

Every starter had a hit before the end of the fifth inning and Los Angeles scored in four of the first five frames against Blackburn.

Kemp continued a torrid month, even by his lofty 2011 standards.

He’s hit .395 in June with nine homers, 22 RBIs and seven stolen bases. He connected off Twins reliever Phil Dumatrait in the sixth with a home run high off the black batter’s eye in center field.

Ex-Twins minor leaguer Trent Oeltjen went 4 for 4, including his first home run of the season, while falling a double short of the cycle. Tony Gwynn Jr. also had four hits.

The run support was a welcome sight for Billingsley, who had allowed 18 earned runs in 19 innings over four June starts. Two consecutive starts against the AL Central have served him well, though.

He yielded one run and struck out five in beating Detroit last week. The Twins didn’t have a runner reach second until the sixth when Joe Mauer doubled to left, but Alexi Casilla was thrown out at home to end the inning.

Minnesota opened June by winning 15 of its first 18 games and Blackburn was a big part of the success. The right-hander had given up just six earned runs in 26 1-3 innings this month.

His defense didn’t help him Monday night, though.

Minnesota made three errors, with shortstop Tsuyoshi Nishioka committing his sixth and seventh in just 17 games.

Nishioka misplayed a grounder by Andre Ethier in the first and Kemp followed with an RBI double high off the right-field wall.

NOTES: Twins CF Denard Span (concussion) has progressed to agility drills and running outside, but he’s still not taking batting practice, only hitting in the cages inside. Span must pass a series of tests required by Major League Baseball before he can return. … Dodgers RHP Matt Guerrier caught up with some of his friends and former teammates in the Twins bullpen before the game. “Probably more weird just going out and pitching against the guys,” Guerrier said, “but it’s just fun to be back.” … Twins RHP Kevin Slowey (abdominal muscle strain) is scheduled for 50 pitches, between three and four innings, on Wednesday for Class-A Fort Myers. … Twins LF Delmon Young had an MRI on his severely sprained right ankle. He was walking gingerly before the game, but head athletic trainer Rick McWane said Young’s foot has improved over the last day.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Jake

    Stick a fork in this ‘team’, give Mauer and Morneau the rest of the season off, and let’s just celebreate our wunderful new, overpriced stadium, courtesy of the Hennepin County taxPAYERS.

    • Franks n Beans

      I still love the stadium and am glad we have it. And I’m glad I didn’t have to pay a dime for it since I don’t live in Hennepin. bwahahahahahahaha!!!

  • Al

    Fire Gardenhoser!

  • Dan

    Kick the twins out of MN. They Suck!

  • zee the reporter

    Fire gardy!

    • D Span

      as a reporter, you need to give specifics why they should fire him? Is it because he causes all of these injuries? NO! Do the players respect him? YES! Has he had success with a healthy team, YES! Does he have owners that will spend willy nilly like the Yankees? NO Have the Twins had bad luck in always drawing the Yankees every year in the playoffs and beaten by talent, NOT coaching? YES

      Don’t quit your day job Zee. You aren’t a very good reporter.

  • Embarrassed

    15 runs, 24 hits, and you call this a major league baseball team? What a pathetic group of losers and an embarrassment to MN. Why even show up. My 13 year old nephews team is better than this team. They need to take a good look at the coaching and players here and start making some changes like firing the whole coaching staff and start trading some players including the biggest wimp Mauer.

    • Wally

      do you even follow the Twins? Not even the greatest manager in the history of baseball could get wins out of a team that has had hundreds (exaggerating of course) on the DL. If this is anyones fault, it’s Bill Smith’s. He’s the only one that should be looked at being fired. Our pitching has been great lately, so why should Rick Anderson go? I think the 3rd base coach has made some bad calls, he probably could get the axe, along with Joe Vavra, the hitting coach. But Gardy does not deserve to be the escape goat for this injury riddled season. Get healthy, get some good draft picks out of this lost season and come back next year. I’m still renewing my season tickets.

  • Mike D

    Where has Mike D been lately? Stay off his bandwagon.

  • Al

    Mike D has been posting on the budget article’s.

  • Shane G

    This is pretty ridiculous. Here they were digging themselves out of a hole while winning 8 games in a row. Even scoring 8 pts. in the first inning alone against the giants. Then ever since the 2nd Giants game, they let themselves slide down the hole again. The bottom of the order has really stepped it up and is the reason why they were winning games. They did their part. Maybe it’s time that the top of the order do what they get paid for and score! After all, they get paid more than everyone else.

  • Shane G

    I think certain team mates getting overpaid is another reason they are losing. Look at Mauer, got a lucrative $184 million dollar deal. What happens is they receive so much money that they can do anything they want in life and other things no longer have any value anymore. What’s the point of playing good baseball anymore when you already have all the money you ever need? They no longer have the umpfhhh inside them anymore. They have other matters on their mind like what they are going to spend it on when they get home from the game. That is why I believe they need to change how they pay the players. Start everyone out with a $500,000 a year salary, and then assign a monetary value for every home run that gets hit, good catch, good pitch, etc. and then pay out at the end of the game. That way they have to work for their money and they don’t lose momentum.

  • JOHN

    I thought the season iwas over isn’t it?

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