Matt Kemp shook his head and laughed.
"I hit a walk-off and the first question you ask me was about the fight?" Kemp asked. "What is that, man?"
FOR THE RECORD:
Dodgers game: The Dodgers-Diamondbacks article in Wednesday's Sports section said that John Ely had never pitched above Class A until this year. Ely had pitched in double-A ball. —
With that, the line of questioning was temporarily diverted from a seventh-inning, bench-clearing incident to Kemp's 10th-inning home run off that lifted the Dodgers to a 1-0 victory over the fast-sliding Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
The walk-off victory was the second in as many days for the Dodgers, who beat the Diamondbacks the previous day on a ninth-inning balk. But this was a first-of-a-kind experience for Kemp.
"It's a great feeling," he said. "Now I know how 'Dre feels when he hits his home run walk-offs."
The reference was to Andre Ethier, whom Kemp tied for the team lead in home runs with 11.
So back to the bench-clearing incident …
With Dodgers rookie John Ely matching All-Star Dan Haren zero for zero, Russell Martin reached base in the seventh on a single to center.
Jamey Carroll attempted to advance Martin to second with a sacrifice bunt, only to have Martin thrown out at second by Haren. Martin said that as he slid through the bag, he caught shortstop Stephen Drew's foot.
"It was a hard slide," Martin said. "He didn't like that. He just expressed his disagreement. I just told him I'm playing the game hard. Nothing personal there."
Second base umpire Bob Davidson had to stand between the players.
Soon, the benches cleared. Then, the bullpens. Finally, Manny Ramirez trotted onto the field, in time to join his teammates on their way back to the bench.
The stalemate continued.
In only his seventh major league start, Ely limited the Diamondbacks to two hits over seven scoreless innings and lowered his earned-run average to 2.54.
Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of Ely's performance was that even though the 24-year-old had never pitched above Class A until this year, games like this have ceased to be a surprise.
"I think he's been tested about everywhere," Manager Joe Torre said.
Haren was charged with 19 runs over his previous three starts but looked like his old self Tuesday.
For the Dodgers, the key to victory was obvious: force Haren out of the game and get to the Diamondbacks' bullpen, which started the day with a major league-worst ERA of 7.70.
Haren stubbornly stuck around for eight innings. With Haren's pitch count at 126, Diamondbacks Manager A.J. Hinch replaced him in the ninth inning with Aaron Heilman.
The countdown to the Dodgers' victory started.
After failing to capitalize off a pair of hits off Heilman, the Dodgers faced Juan Gutierrez in the 10th inning. Kemp's home run dropped Gutierrez to 0-5 and raised his ERA to 10.31.
Mindful of how Kendry Morales of the Angels broke his leg celebrating a walk-off grand slam Saturday, the Dodgers were relatively subdued the moment Kemp touched home.
"I don't want to cut in on any celebration stuff, but just be careful," Torre said he told his players, who found other ways to have fun.
"They were mocking me out there," Torre said.
Buy Dodgers tickets here
Clicking on Green Links will take you to a third-party e-commerce site. These sites are not operated by the Los Angeles Times. The Times Editorial staff is not involved in any way with Green Links or with these third-party sites.