SAN FRANCISCO -- Struggling Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp, benched for a third consecutive start Tuesday night, will return to the lineup Wednesday, manager Joe Torre said.
Torre said Kemp asked to meet after seeing he was not in Tuesday's lineup. Asked if Kemp would be playing Wednesday if he had not come to him, Torre said: "I don't know that. I thought the talk went well."
Torre and Kemp were evasive about what led to the benching, but a witness said it resulted from a disagreement Kemp had with a member of the coaching staff in the dugout while discussing a game situation Saturday.
"That's just a report," Kemp said after Tuesday night's game, in which he took over for an injured Manny Ramirez in the first inning and went 2-for-4 with two difficult catches in the outfield.
Kemp, batting .196 in June coming into the game, acknowledged the season has become "frustrating," but he rejected the suggestion that he's sometimes perceived as not caring.
'Y'all can think what you want to think," he said. "I only care if my teammates think I care. They know I do what it takes to win. Everybody has their assumptions. I can't control what you guys think."
Kemp insisted his approach this year has been the same as last year, when he won Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards in a breakout season.
"I did everything I needed to do to have as good a season as I did last year," he said. "I've still got a whole half-season to turn this thing around and for us to do all the great things we did last year."
Torre would not confirm that the benching was a discipline issue.
"I get the chance to write the lineup every day and I put in who I put in," he said. "It's been frustrating for him, we all see that, and hopefully these days will give him a chance to breathe a bit. It's a tough game to play. He's a young man and you don't get a chance to regroup. He's played so much. It just looks like he's frustrated."