Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling

AP Photo/Jae C. Hong

Stripling, Kemp lead Dodgers to 8-2 win over Phillies

May 31, 2018 - 8:09 am
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By Doug Padilla, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Ross Stripling is surprising even himself with the way he's piling up strikeouts lately.

The right-hander had nine more Wednesday night to increase his total to 28 over his last three starts, Matt Kemp homered and drove in four runs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Philadelphia Phillies 8-2.

Stripling pitched out of the bullpen the first month of the season before joining the Dodgers' rotation April 30. His place among the Dodgers' starters seems secure now with all those strikeouts and just two earned runs allowed over the last three outings.

"I really never have been a guy that struck out more than one an inning, even in college," said Stripling, who was drafted in the fifth round out of Texas A&M in 2012. "It's kind of a new thing."

He gives at least part of the strikeout credit to an adjustment that pitching coach Rick Honeycutt made with his curveball.

"He (said), 'Why don't you just throw it as hard as you can," said Stripling, who admitted he often tried to aim the pitch. "Since then it has been a lot better. It has been consistent in the zone and with two strikes it has been consistent on the plate short, and I feel like my arm action is better."

Stripling (3-1), who gave up a run and four hits, has won each of his last three starts and lowered his ERA as a starter to 2.18, with a 1.68 mark overall.

Kemp had an RBI double in the first inning, a two-run home run in the third and a sacrifice fly in the eighth as he recorded his team-leading 16th multi-hit game and second in two nights. His two hits moved him into the National League lead with a .345 batting average.

Phillies starter Zach Eflin (1-2) lasted just four innings, giving up five runs and seven hits. Nick Williams homered for Philadelphia, his sixth of the season and second in two games.

"Eflin was good he was just having trouble locating and fell behind," Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said. "They have some good hitters over there. Kemp is swinging the bat very well. It's hard to sneak a fastball or a slider by him right now."

Max Muncy also hit a home run for the Dodgers, his seventh, just two batters before Kemp went deep against Eflin. Over his last three starts, Eflin has been unable to get through five innings.

"They took advantage of my bad pitches and they hit some good pitches," Eflin said. "It was just one of those days where I got hit around."

The Dodgers have won five of their last six games against the Phillies at Dodger Stadium, going back to April of last season. Since the start of 2015, the Dodgers have won 10 of 13 against the Phillies in Los Angeles.

Cody Bellinger had two hits for the Dodgers, his first multi-hit game since May 8.

SEIZING THE OPPORTUNITY

Stripling got his chance to start after a bevy of injuries in the rotation. Clayton Kershaw (biceps tendinitis), Rich Hill (blister), Hyun-Jin Ryu (groin) and Kenta Maeda (hip) are all currently on the DL.

Stripling gave up four runs over four innings in a start at Arizona on April 30, but since then he has not given up more than two earned runs in any outing. He even helped himself on offense in this game, delivering an RBI single in the fifth inning. It was just his second career RBI after also recording one in 2016.

"That was just kind of a step in the bucket and flair it the other way," Stripling said of his third career hit. "It was cool to get an RBI."

WILLIAMS GOES DEEP AGAIN

Williams' home run that spoiled the Dodgers' potential shutout bid gave him home runs in consecutive games for the first time in his career. It also is helping to distance himself from a rough end to April when he was in an 0-for-20 dry spell.

Four of Williams' six home runs have come over his last nine games and he has a .741 slugging percentage over that stretch.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Phillies: A further examination on the jaw of OF Rhys Hoskins revealed a fracture, after he was hit in the face by his own foul ball Monday. Hoskins is expected to go on the DL. ... Pedro Florimon, who was placed on the DL with a fracture in his left foot, will need to undergo a surgical procedure, Kapler said.

Dodgers: LHP Hill participated in his second simulated game since Saturday, pitching three innings with a protective covering over the blister on his left middle finger. There remains no timetable for Hill's return. ... A day after leaving his outing in the second inning, RHP Maeda was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a mild hip strain. ... INF Chase Utley also went on the 10-day disabled list with a left thumb sprain.

ROSTER SHUFFLE

With Maeda and Utley each going on the disabled list, the Dodgers recalled RHP Dennis Santana and ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte. It is Santana's first time on a major league roster. He will be available out of the bullpen for now, but could start in the upcoming weekend series at Colorado.

The Phillies also added to their roster, recalling infielder Mitch Walding. He replaced Florimon, who fractured his foot in Tuesday's game.

UP NEXT

LHP Kershaw (1-4, 2.86 ERA) is expected to return from the disabled list and start in the series finale. RHP Aaron Nola (6-2, 2.27), who has given up one earned run of less in four of his five May starts, is set to make his second career start against the Dodgers.

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