Matt Kemp began what is expected to be a three-game stay with Class-A Rancho… (Jon Blacker / Associated…)
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.
Kemp began the night by grounding out to second base in his first at-bat, a hard one-hopper to Phillips.
In the second at-bat, Kemp, admitting he’s here to improve his swing timing, swung and missed a 76-mph curveball from right-hander Stephen Landazuri, 21, a Rialto Carter High product. He then took a close inside pitch for a ball before grounding out again.