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Dodgers-Astros LiveBlog: The Scorching Intolerable Episode

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Matt Kemp carried the Dodgers on his back scoring all four of the Dodgers runs in the 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros. Kemp walked, hit two singles and hit a solo home run in the eighth inning for his grand finale.

"It was a heck of a day," manager Joe Torre said of Kemp. "He had a great day. Obviously we needed every bit of it."

"It was a team effort," Kemp said. "I was just getting on base, and Brad Ausmus just kept driving me in. We were a dynamic duo today."

As for the home run Kemp said, "It felt good because I knew we had "Big Boy" [Jonathan Broxton] in the pen getting warmed up. I knew we had a good chance of winning the game."

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"I wish I could do that everyday," Kemp said to sum things up.

As great a day as Kemp was having second baseman Orlando Hudson had to leave the game after making the last out of the fifth inning when he ran into Astros starter Russ Ortiz. He injured his left wrist and his status is day-to-day.

"We'll get a better read tomorrow," Torre said. "It doesn't seem to be anything. I don't want to say a major problem because when it hurts it's a problem, but it's something he's had before and we've sat him down for a day or so."

Meanwhile closer Jonathan Broxton nailed his 22th save of the season going a perfect 11-for-11 in save opportunities in Dodger Stadium.

"Today I went out there and did a little better than last night," Broxton said.

While Broxton's velocity was a little down last night, he came back throwing fastballs from 96-99 mph.

"I went out yesterday and got some rust off," Broxton explained.

Dodgers starter Hiroki Kuroda meanwhile got a no decision pitching five innings and giving up three runs on seven hits and two walks with a strikeout. All three runs came in the third inning with two outs. In fact five of Houston's hits were with two outs in the inning.

The Dodgers would come back and score once in the bottom of the third after Kemp led off the inning with a walk, stole second and came home on Brad Ausmus' double.

In the fifth inning, Kemp would open the inning with a single and come home on another Ausmus double. In the seventh inning, Kemp would once again lead off the inning with a single and score when Rafael Furcal bounced to the pitcher Alberto Arias who tried to throw home but dropped the ball.

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In the eighth inning with two outs, Kemp decided to take matters into his own hands and drove a home run 443 feet down to left-center on a full count.

The Dodgers split the series with Houston at two games apiece and end up with a season record of 3-4. The Cincinnati Reds now come to town for a three-game series with Jason Schmidt starting tomorrow night.

Top of the 9th

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3-4

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And the Dodgers pull out the come-from-behind win. Dodgers win!!!!

I'll just say that my concern last night about Broxton was unfounded. Watching him pitch today has convinced me he was telling us the truth last night.

99 mph fastball. Broxton has more giddy-up today than he did last night.

Top of the order for Broxton. Let's see what he has today.

They've been playing around with Broxton's intro music recently. Today is Black Sabbath's "Iron Man". I really think they should keep it. Very appropriate.

Bottom of the 8thThe four runs Kemp scored ties a career high. The home run is estimated at 443 feet.

That was Kemp's 12th homer this season. You could tell he was dying to hit one out in that at-bat. Kemp has now accounted for every Dodger run today.

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3-4

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Kemp homers!!!!!!!! Dodgers lead!!!!!

Matt Kemp scored all three runs for the Dodgers. Will he do it again this inning?

After making the slide into second on Loney's double play, Ethier came up gingerly.

Top of the 8thWell that was an easy 1-2-3 inning.

Is it time to take a nap? I could sure use one.

Today's attendance: 40,340

Bottom of the 7thBlake grounds to second to end the inning. But the game is tied and Kemp hits third in the eighth inning.

Once the fans realized Manny was going to be intentionally walked, the boos started cascading down.

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3-3

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I think Arias wants to dig his grave right there on the mound. Two plays, two errors. And the Dodgers tie the game.

Oooh. Bad error by Arias that allows DeWitt to be safe on first.

That's a stupid sacrifice by Ausmus. Hit that damned double to score Kemp again! Boo!!

That's yet another single for Kemp. Here's Ausmus!!!!

Top of the 7thAnd El Caballo stole a base, his third of the year. How in the world did that happen?

El Caballo got hit by a pitch. I seriously don't know about that nickname.

Hudson just has an injured left wrist and is day-to-day. I'll find out more after the game.

Wow. They have energy to do the wave.

Bottom of the 6thNow if Loney can keep the inning going we can have the Kemp-Ausmus show. And just as I say that he grounds to second.

And Ethier hits a single up the middle after fouling off several pitches.

Wow. Ethier crushed a foul ball into his back leg. That looked painful. He's gotten up and is trying to walk it off. And Ethier will stay in the game, well at least to complete his at-bat.

Sorry. As I was eating a Dodger Dog during Manny's at bat I realized that I've been saying Loretta when I meant Ausmus. Sorry about that. But I got a Dodger Dog and soft serve to make myself feel better.

Top of the 6thGreat diving catch in foul ground by Blake to get Bourn out. That prevents an interesting inning.

So Hudson is out of the game and DeWitt remains in the game now playing second. Guillermo Mota is pitching and will be put in Hudson's spot in the lineup.

Bottom of the 5thAnd the trainer is there to look at Hudson's hand. It looks like he jammed it as Ortiz was fielding the ball at first.

Well it looks like only Kemp and Loretta can do damage to the Astros.

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3-2

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Yet again Kemp scores on a Loretta double.

So Kuroda gave up all three Houston runs and five of the seven hits after having gotten two strikes. It looks like he still has some confidence problems.

Nice bloop single by Kemp to open the inning. And Blake DeWitt is on the on-deck circle looking to pinch hit for Kuroda. So it looks like Kuroda's day is done.

Top of the 5thAnd Blake saves the day by grabbing that liner.

Furcal smothers Pence's single but couldn't get the ball to Hudson in time. Runners on first and second now. Told you this would get interesting.

A walk to Blum.

Ok. Kuroda easily got Tejada and Lee out to start the fifth. Now for the interesting part of the inning.

Well that Kiss Cam sucked. It ended in a marriage proposal. I hate those. Why don't they do divorce proposals? I think that would be far more entertaining. Perhaps they could end the divorce proposal in an MMA fight or something. Just a suggestion.

Bottom of the 4thKiss cam time!

No. Loney did the honors for Ethier this time. Feh.

Andre Ethier hit a single with Manny on first. That could have ended worse.

Most of the peeple are trying to hang out underneath the eaves. I totally understand how they're feeling since I was there a couple of weeks ago in San Diego. Although it wasn't as hot down there as it is today, I was baking. In fact my arms are still peeling.

Top of the 4thJust as I thought Kuroda was breezing, he gave up back-to-back singles to Ortiz and Bourn. Oh well. At least no runs scored.

Ortiz just got a two-out single off of Kuroda, and now Bourn is up to bat. And he just hits a single. He's been on base in all three plate appearances, an error, double and single.

So I'm not using a full scorecard today. I'm just jotting down the plays and not keeping track of strikes, balls and pitches. It's actually very liberating. Just thought I'd let you know.

Bottom of the 3rdWell the Dodgers only scored once but they forced Ortiz to make 28 pitches. At least that's something.

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3-1

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And the Dodgers respond by scoring a run of their own on a Brad Ausmus double.

A strange boom happened seconds ago. To quote Ken Levine, "Jonathan Broxton fell."

Kemp is the first baserunner for the Dodgers. So no perfect game for Ortiz, and I didn't have pull a douchebag move.

Just got an email from the Dodgers. The Manny Ramirez bobblehead night on Wednesday is sold out.

Why did Kemp show bunt on the first pitch? That's stupid even if it was a bluff.

Top of the 3rdAmazingly enough Kuroda made less pitches in this inning giving up three runs than he did in the first two innings.

All of these runs are coming in on two outs. Just a note.

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3-0

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Third home run for Blum on a 2-0 count. Kuroda is not dealing.

A pass ball by Ausmus went way over his head. Yet he almost had a chance to catch Lee at second thanks to the ricochet.

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1-0

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And Lee hits a single to score Bourn. The Astros strike first.

The Astros are hitting the ball hard. Too bad there's a Dodger there to catch it.

Watching Hudson making that play to rob Keppinger of a hit makes me very glad that the Dodgers signed him.

Bourn opens the inning with a double. Furcal is playing close to second, but Hudson is playing back.

Bottom of the 2ndOrtiz has thrown 25 pitches through two.

The Dodgers are making Ortiz look like a Cy Young award candidate. They're much better than this.

And if Blake were on base, that would have been a double play.

Andre Ethier is up to bat. Even though no one's on base, I'm sure he'll hit into a double play.

Top of the 2ndKuroda after two innings has now made 41 pitches. A bit too high.

My Russ Ortiz memory: being the pitcher in Game 6 of the 2002 World Series for the San Francisco Giants. Everyone beyond the Orange Curtain remembers that game.

People are still a bit jittery from the foul balls last night here in the press box.

By the way, Furcal's error in the first inning now gives him 12 tied for most in the National League for shortstops.

Bottom of the 1stAnd Manny strikes out swinging. That was very uneventful. I wonder what the over/under is for someone dropping here in the press box. I'd say fifth inning. But it won't be me.

Furcal and Hudson didn't even make Ortiz work. I really don't think there's a drop of sweat on him.

Top of the 1stFirst ball not hit to Furcal was a deep fly out to Ethier by Geoff Blum. Some Astros media guy said, "That outta here." Pfft.

And Kuroda walked Lee. Despite Kuroda's ups-and-downs he hasn't been walking people.

Good play by the ball boy in right field to catch Carlos Lee's foul. He got a nice cheer.

Are the Astro's testing Furcal? That's three straight grounders to Furcal.

And after Michael Bourn stole second, they got us the lineups. Woo!

They tell us it's 94 degrees at first pitch. Lies. It feels more like 104. And Rafael Furcal starts off the game with a nice error. Hot potato!

It is hotter than a fat man's ass today. I woke up late and barely made it to the park in time to get to Torre's pregame chat. They never printed out the lineups so I had to get it from MLB's GameDay. So let's see if I can keep it together for the game today.

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0-0

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Hiroki Kuroda. AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
With last night's announcement that Jason Schmidt will be starting tomorrow night against the Cincinnati Reds, the talk of other injured pitchers started flooding.

"[Hong-Chih] Kuo pitched well yesterday," manager Joe Torre said of Kuo's minor league outing. "I think we may have a finish line in mind right now."

But for today Hiroki Kuroda will be starting for the Dodgers against the Houston Astros in the fourth and final game of the series. As a rookie out of the Japanese League last season, Kuroda was dominant throughout the season establishing himself as a dominant arm for the team.

However coming off his oblique strain that caused him to miss 10 starts, Kuroda has been inconsistent. While he had a great outing in Chicago against the White Sox where he pitched a shutout through eight innings, he has not been dominating going 2-5 with one no-decision since coming back.

"The only mystery in my mind is the start he had in Chicago," Torre said of Kuroda's inconsistencies. "It was so easy for him we sent him out there for the ninth inning. It's one of emotional things where you know what you're capable of and you're just a little impatient in trying to get there consistently."

"Hopefully we'll see a more comfortable pitcher today," Torre continued. "Physically we're about as sure as we can be that he's fine."

Meanwhile Brad Ausmus will get the start this afternoon giving Russell Martin a day off behind the plate.

The Dodgers will also be celebrating LA Kings Day to honor the Kings despite not making the Stanley Cup playoffs in what seems like forever. Defenseman Matt Greene will throw the first pitch to teammate Jarret Stoll. Hopefully the Kings can absorb any sort of playoff vibe to help them out this upcoming season.

Here are the lineups.

Houston Astros

  1. Michael Bourn, CF
  2. Jeff Keppinger, 2B
  3. Miguel Tejada, SS
  4. Carlos Lee, LF
  5. Geoff Blum, 3B
  6. Hunter Pence, RF
  7. Ivan Rodriguez, C
  8. Chris Coste, 1B
  9. Russ Ortiz, P

Los Angeles Dodgers

  1. Rafael Furcal, SS
  2. Orlando Hudson, 2B
  3. Manny Ramirez, LF
  4. Casey Blake, 3B
  5. Andre Ethier, RF
  6. James Loney, 1B
  7. Matt Kemp, CF
  8. Brad Ausmus, C
  9. Hiroki Kuroda, P