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Kemp clobbers walk-off shot for LA in 10th

Kemp clobbers walk-off shot for LA in 10th

LOS ANGELES -- Phenoms generally come with a radar gun reading higher than 88, and they always come with chutzpah.

John Ely put his name next to Hideo Nomo's Tuesday night, tossing seven scoreless innings for his sixth straight quality start in a 1-0 win over the D-backs. The last Dodgers rookie to have more was Nomo, who threw a dozen in 1995.

But Ely, like his last start in Chicago, did not get the win. He locked up with Arizona's Dan Haren, who one-upped Ely with eight scoreless innings, and the bullpens did their part to carry a scoreless game until Matt Kemp's home run with one out in the 10th inning off reliever Juan Gutierrez.

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It was the second consecutive walk-off win for the Dodgers and the ninth straight loss for the D-backs. The Dodgers are back within a game of the National League West-leading Padres, who fell to the Mets, 4-2.

"My first home run walk-off, that's a pretty good feeling," said Kemp, who extended his hit streak to seven with the homer, his 11th of the season. "Now I know how [Andre Ethier] feels when he hits all those home run walk-offs. Pretty exciting to do it for once in my life."

Just seven starts into his career, Ely wasn't complaining about the Dodgers' paltry run support behind him. Over the past 14 1/3 innings Ely has pitched, the Dodgers have scored the same number of runs he's allowed the opposition -- one.

"Last time we played these guys I think I got 13 runs or something like that," Ely said. "It's an up-and-down thing. Sometimes you get run support and sometimes you don't. I'm just happy to keep us in the game and we ended up winning."

Ely has yet to be rattled, and he said the happy-to-be-here thoughts are long gone. He threw the D-backs 19 of 25 first-pitch strikes -- this to a team that Monday had three home runs in the first two innings. Ely allowed just two hits, two walks and struck out five. Fifty-nine of his 92 pitches went for strikes, and with a 2.54 ERA, he's walking and breathing confidence.

"This kid's really infused us with a little energy," manager Joe Torre said. "He doesn't really care who he's pitching against because he just challenges everybody. It's really refreshing to watch that."

"Not being able to piece anything together and be able to threaten Ely was a tribute to him," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said.

Ronald Belisario, Hong-Chih Kuo and Jeff Weaver (3-1) filled in behind Ely. Haren's performance was equally impressive, as he walked none and gave up seven hits and struck out seven.

There were extra frames and everything was wrapped up in only three hours, six minutes. It was an old-school ballgame, and the gritty cherry on top was Russell Martin's dustup with shortstop Stephen Drew in the bottom of the seventh.

On first base, Martin slid hard into second base, where Drew was covering. Martin and Drew had words, and D-backs center fielder Chris Young -- who was close to second base to back up a throw -- was involved in the conversation as well. The bullpens and benches cleared, and that was it. No one was ejected and no punches were thrown.

"I kind of slid through the bag a little bit," Martin said. "I caught his foot, caught a cleat on his foot. "He didn't like that, he just expressed his disagreement. I just told him I'm playing the game hard. There's really nothing personal there."

"I'm not sure what he [Chris Young] was doing right there," Martin continued. "It is what it is."

Before his home run, Kemp had been the only runner to reach third base. An error at first base put him on to start the sixth inning, and Manny Ramirez's single to center moved him over with none out. Ethier flied out and James Loney and Casey Blake both struck out to end the inning.

The Dodgers' other scoring chances ended similarly. Garret Anderson, batting .156, hit into an inning-ending double play in the seventh, and pinch-hitter Ronnie Belliard struck out with two on in the ninth inning.

The D-backs got close to scoring in their half of the seventh, when a Martin passed ball on a strike-three pitch let a runner reach with one on and two out. Two pitches later, another ball danced away from Martin, but he recovered to throw out Adam LaRoche, who was attempting to advance to third, ending the inning.

Ethier had his first hit since returning from the disabled list and was 1-for-4. He was robbed on line drives to left and right field in his first two at-bats.

Evan Drellich is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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