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.
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