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Kemp powers Dodgers over Diamondbacks

Jul 16, 2011 - 6:06 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Matt Kemp belted a two-run homer and tallied four RBI as the Los Angeles Dodgers survived a late charge by the Arizona Diamondbacks to earn a 6-4 win in the opener of a three-game series.

Clayton Kershaw (10-4) lasted seven innings, allowing four unearned runs on five hits and two walks while fanning eight.

Juan Rivera, acquired during the All-Star break via trade, went 2-for-4 with a home run, as the Dodgers extended their win streak to a season-high five games.

Xavier Nady smacked a three-run homer in the seventh and placed runners on the corners with a two-out single in the ninth, but Javy Guerra struck out pinch- hitter Brandon Allen to earn his fifth save of the season.

Joe Saunders (6-8) surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on five hits and a walk while striking out four over six innings, as the Diamondbacks dropped their third straight.

Rivera, acquired from Toronto on Tuesday, put the Dodgers on top in the second with a one-out, solo blast to left.

Continuing to pay immediate dividends, Rivera ripped a two-out single in the fourth, advanced to second on a James Loney walk and came around to score on a Dioner Navarro single.

Andre Ethier reached on an error by Nady to begin the sixth and Kemp made the Diamondbacks pay, ripping the first offering from Saunders -- a two-seam fastball -- deep into the seats in left, giving the Dodgers a comfortable 4-0 lead.

Aaron Heilman relieved Saunders to begin the seventh and allowed a one-out single to Kershaw. Following a Rafael Furcal fly out, Juan Uribe singled and Ethier walked to load the bases.

Kemp delivered again, driving a single to left to plate Kershaw and Uribe.

"Ultimately we were unable to hold them after Joe got out of the game," said Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson. "That's what cost us the game."

The runs would prove essential, as Kershaw, who cruised through the first six frames, proved fallible in the seventh.

With one down, Chris Young reached on a Uribe error to get things started. Stephen Drew then went down on strikes, but Ryan Roberts drew a walk and Miguel Montero singled to score Young and place runners on the corners.

The next batter, Nady, fell behind 1-2 before driving a slider deep into the seats in center to make it a 6-4 game.

"Kershaw is pretty good," said Gibson. "We hung in there against him. We didn't play good enough to beat him."

Hong-Chih Kuo began the ninth for the Dodgers and issued a one-out walk to Roberts. After Montero went down on strikes, Guerra entered and allowed Nady's single up the middle.

Allen, who was called up from Triple-A Reno prior to the game, worked a 2-2 count before watching a fastball cross the plate.

"My job is to drive in runs for us and give us a chance to win games," said Kemp. "I was just trying to make some things happen offensively and I think tonight we all did a good job of swinging the bat and getting some things going."

Game Notes

The Dodgers acquired Rivera from the Blue Jays on Tuesday in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations...The Dodgers have allowed just one earned run during their current five-game win streak...Kershaw has won each of his last five starts against the Diamondbacks. He has a career-high 12 hits this season...Saunders had won three straight decisions.