The Los Angeles Dodgers will have to deal with an extended absence from Matt Kemp for the first time in over five years.
For one game, they didn't seem to miss him.
The Dodgers will be without their most feared hitter again Tuesday night when they try to match their longest winning streak of the season by sweeping this two-game set with the visiting Arizona Diamondbacks.
Los Angeles (24-11) owns the best record in baseball partly because of Kemp's .359 average, 12 homers and 28 RBIs. However, he's 0 for 13 over his last four games and has been bothered by a nagging left hamstring injury.
The injury has become serious enough that the Dodgers placed him on the 15-day disabled list Monday for just the second time in his seven-year career and first since April 2007.
"I'm disappointed," Kemp said. "I like playing every game, but I've got to be healthy and playing at 100 percent for me to be effective. So I've got to let it heal. It's going to take some time."
Los Angeles fared just fine without the All-Star center fielder on Monday, beating Arizona 3-1 as Kemp's streak of 399 consecutive games played came to an end.
Without him, the Dodgers will try to match their season-high six-game winning streak from April 10-15.
Tony Gwynn is Kemp's likely replacement again after going 0 for 3 Monday. He's 1 for 16 in his last 10 meetings with the Diamondbacks (15-21).
Chad Billingsley (2-2, 3.32 ERA) is scheduled to start for Los Angeles looking to win for the first time in six starts. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 4.78 ERA in his last five games.
Billingsley was pulled after four innings Wednesday, allowing two runs and seven hits with five strikeouts and four walks in a 6-2 home win over San Francisco.
"I sort of beat myself up," said Billingsley, who threw 85 pitches. "Everything felt good, but my fastball command was kind of off. I fell behind the hitters and I wasn't being aggressive when I should have been."
Despite that performance, Billingsley is 1-0 with a 2.12 ERA in three home starts this season. However, he hasn't fared well in seven games there against Arizona, going 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA.
The Diamondbacks, losers of three straight and eight of nine, give the ball to Wade Miley (3-1, 2.76).
The left-hander is 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA in four starts since replacing the injured Daniel Hudson (right shoulder) in the rotation last month. He lost for the first time in that role Wednesday, allowing three runs and a season-high 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 7-2 defeat at St. Louis.
"Late in the game I didn't make pitches when I needed to," he said.
Miley's only appearance against the Dodgers came in relief on the final day of the regular season last year. He gave up two runs in one inning.
Jason Kubel is 1 for 10 in three games against Los Angeles after going 0 for 3 Monday. He had five hits in the previous two games.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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