Matt Kemp has hit the ball hard twice and has nothing to show for it in his return to baseball Thursday.
In his second at-bat, the rehabilitating Dodgers outfielder struck a 1-1 pitch up the middle for the Class-A Rancho Cucamonga, but High Desert second baseman Anthony Phillips caught up to the grounder and flipped the ball to shortstop to start a double play that muted a Quakes’ two-on, no-outs rally in the third inning.
Kemp, in the first game of what’s scheduled to be a three-game stay with the Quakes, didn’t show great speed trotting down the first-base line.
The 2011 National League MVP runner-up has been sidelined since spraining his left ankle in a home-plate collision against the Washington Nationals July 21. The Dodgers are 28-8 in his absence.