(Friday, April 20th)
Final Score: Los Angeles 3, Houston 1
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Matt Kemp launched his MLB-best eighth homer of the season, a two-run first-inning blast, as the Los Angeles Dodgers took down the Houston Astros, 3-1, in the opener of a three-game set.
Kemp finished 3-for-3 with a walk, Andre Ethier knocked in the other run and Ted Lilly (2-0) got the win by giving up one run on four hits and six walks in six innings.
"You'd rather not have to leave the bullpen with nine outs left to get. More times than not, though, with these guys, I feel like our pen is going to take care of it," Lilly said.
Javy Guerra notched his seventh save of the season with two strikeouts in a perfect ninth as the Dodgers moved to 11-3 on the season.
J.A. Happ (1-1) suffered the loss by allowing three runs on eight hits and four walks in six frames. Chris Snyder drove in the lone run for Houston, which has lost five of six.
"I felt fine. I just think that I wasn't quite as sharp as maybe the first two [starts]," said Happ. "I wasn't missing by much, that's for sure. And they battled, too. They had good at-bats."
Kemp continued his early-season power tear in the top of the first. With Justin Sellers aboard, he stroked a 2-1 fastball over the fence in right. All eight of his blasts have come to the opposite-field, with this one giving him 20 RBI on the season -- also the best in the majors.
Ethier stayed close behind his teammate for the league lead in that category in the third inning. After Mark Ellis singled and moved to third on a double play a bit later, Ethier lined Happ's first offering up the middle for his 19th RBI.
Kemp and Ethier's combined 39 RBI through 14 games is the second most all- time, behind Ted Williams and Vern Stephens for the 1941 Red Sox.
Brian Bogusevic got one back in the fourth when he hit a two-out single then stole second, coming around to score on Snyder's base hit.
But Lilly got Jed Lowire to ground into a force play with the bases loaded to end the fifth, and Houston did not threaten from that point forward.
Kemp's 8 HR in 14 games ties Wally Moon's 1961 franchise record...Kemp has a nine-game hitting streak...Houston's J.D. Martinez has reached safely in all 14 games this season...The Dodgers have scored the most runs in the major leagues in the first (16) and third (15) innings...It was Dodgers manager Don Mattingly's 51st birthday.
04/21 01:49:38 ET