Matt Kemp is either not listening to the noise about trade talks. Or maybe he is? Either way, Kemp powered the Dodgers to a series-opening victory against the Braves, knocking a two-run HR in the second inning off of ex-Dodger Aaron Harang, and then another two-run HR in the seventh off of Anthony Varvaro, who took the loss. The latter broke open a back and forth game that was settled in a 4-4 tie; Carl Crawford (1-for-3 with 2 RBI and a run) started the scoring that inning by grounding to second, scoring Yasiel Puig, but then Kemp's HR to center scored Adrian Gonzalez and made the score 7-4.
The Dodgers tacked on another run in the eighth when Adrian Gonzalez (3-for-5 with 2 RBI and 2 runs) doubled in Dee Gordon from second.
The other offensive power in the Dodgers lineup was Yasiel Puig, who went 4-for-5 with 2 runs, but massively failed in the seventh inning by striking out only a home run away from the cycle. Clearly, Puig needs more practice, certainly if he wants to improve his team-leading batting average from .317. Said Harang, "I made some bad pitches over the middle of the plate that he could hit." Uh, yeah.
Josh Beckett was once again not great, lasting only 4.1 IP and giving up 9 H and 4 ER, with 4 BB and 2 Ks. But Jamey Wright, Brandon League (who got the win), J.P. Howell, and Kenley Jansen combined for a scoreless 4.2 innings to preserve the win. Dodgers move to three games up on the Giants, who lost again.
UPDATE: And holy smokes, how could I forget this? The Dodgers just won four games in a row for the first time all year! In honor of this feat, a picture of an In-N-Out 4x4:
Kemp photo: Jae C. Hong / AP