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Chad Billingsley's bat helps Dodgers beat Reds, 9-6

The right-hander homers, doubles and walks with the bases loaded to make up for a shaky performance on the mound. Matt Kemp hits his 16th homer for the Dodgers, who have won three series in a row.

June 05, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez

Reporting from Cincinnati

Everyone hit for the Dodgers on Sunday.

Even the pitcher.

Make that, "especially the pitcher."

Chad Billingsley hit a home run and a double, drew a walk and drove in a career-high three runs in the Dodgers' 9-6 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.

"Just on a hot streak, I guess," Billingsley said.

The Dodgers (28-32) might not be hot, but they're gradually edging their way toward respectability. With Matt Kemp hitting five home runs in his last 10 games –- his 16th of the season was hit in the first inning on Sunday –- the Dodgers have won two of three games in each of their last three series.

"We feel better," Manager Don Mattingly said. "Obviously, those guys out there are going to feel better when they start to put together two out of three, two out of three, two out of three."

Although the Dodgers have scored 20 runs in their last two games, Mattingly wouldn't declare that his team's offensive problems are something of the past.

A three-game series in Philadelphia will be a major test. The Dodgers will face Cliff Lee on Monday, Roy Oswalt on Tuesday and Cole Hamels on Wednesday.

"Those guys will be a test no matter what," Mattingly said. "I don't care what type of offense you have."

Kemp sounded particularly optimistic about the direction he and the team appear to be headed.

"I feel really good right now, I feel real comfortable," he said. "I think a lot of us are. We've been swinging the bats well. Hopefully, we can take this over to Philly tomorrow."

Kemp, who hit two home runs on Saturday, took Travis Wood deep in the first inning on Sunday to put the Dodgers ahead, 3-0.

With Andre Ethier on second and first base open with one out, Reds Manager Dusty Baker elected to intentionally walk Kemp in the third inning. The sequence started a three-run rally for the Dodgers, who increased their lead to 7-3.

Kemp drew two more walks, one in the seventh inning and another in the ninth.

"They were trying to throw things off the plate," Kemp said. "They weren't really trying to come in too much after the first couple at-bats."

Asked if he expects other teams to pitch around Kemp the way the Reds did, Mattingly said, "Probably depends. When you see it in your face for a couple of days, it's a lot easier to do it. Going into Philly, I'm sure they'll do what they do. If they see the same type of stuff, they're going to look at the numbers and if the openings are there, they'll do what they do."

The Dodgers' big offensive day, which included Billingsley's solo home run in the second inning and bases-loaded walk in the third, made up for their starting pitcher's shaky form on the mound.

"I didn't have the best stuff right from the get-go," Billingsley said.

With Billingsley's pitch count at 106 at the end of the fifth inning, Mattingly decided John Ely would replace him on the mound.

But the manager said he had second thoughts about taking the bat out of his hand.

"I thought about letting him hit there," Mattingly said of when Billingsley's turn to hit came up with two out and the bases loaded in the sixth inning.

Instead, Mattingly called on Ivan De Jesus Jr., who grounded into a force-out.

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