With Furcal gone, Kemp takes over leadoff role

With Furcal gone, Kemp takes over leadoff role

BOSTON -- Matt Kemp led off for the Dodgers on Friday night against the Red Sox, replacing Rafael Furcal, who will miss the series on bereavement leave. Jamey Carroll started for Furcal at shortstop.

Manager Joe Torre said he spoke Friday to Furcal, who is in the Dominican Republic attending to an ill family member. Torre said he wasn't sure when Furcal would rejoin the club, but ruled out any time this weekend.

Meanwhile, Kemp said he's detected a flaw in his baserunning mechanics that might help explain why he's been thrown out nine times in 19 attempts.

"I saw that I was raising up instead of leaning toward the next base," said Kemp. "You wouldn't think that raising up would get you out of whack, but it did. And I need to get bigger leads. I know I'm better than this.

"I ain't going to lie -- I know you're not supposed to think like this, but you get caught nine times, you start wondering if you shouldn't go. I've got to get back to stealing bags and get into scoring position for Andre [Ethier] and Manny [Ramirez]. I haven't even tried to steal third base. I've got to be aggressive."

Kemp was caught only eight times last year in 42 attempts, finishing with 34 steals.

"I'm going to get that many this year, write it down," he predicted.