Torre sticks with Gibbons over Kemp to start

Torre sticks with Gibbons over Kemp to start

PHILADELPHIA -- Former Dodgers second baseman Orlando Hudson will look at Joe Torre's lineup for the first two games against the Phillies and know exactly what center fielder Matt Kemp is going through.

Torre, who's been known to ride the hot hand, had Kemp on the bench for the second consecutive game Wednesday night and Jay Gibbons in the lineup again after Gibbons went 3-for-4 with a home run and three RBIs Tuesday night in his first Major League start in three years. The Dodgers scored 15 runs -- two driven in by Kemp's pinch-single.

"We had a good result last night and we're just going to see if we can try to ride it as much as we can," Torre said. "Right now, it's all about winning games. To have the game he had last night, we'll ride that as far as we can. We won the game. I'm in that place right now."

A year ago, even though Hudson was an All-Star, Torre replaced him with Ronnie Belliard after his acquisition, and he took the job and never gave it up. Torre said this situation is the same for now, but stopped short of saying Kemp could remain on the bench.

"I'm not going down that road now," he said. "We need everybody. Matty knocked in two runs Tuesday night. It's just a day at a time."

Torre said that after Tuesday night's win, he told Kemp he would not be starting Wednesday night.

"He shrugged his shoulders and said, 'OK,'" Torre said.

Although Kemp leads the club in runs scored and is tied for the team lead in home runs, he's hitting .260 and Sunday he struck out four times. Earlier this season, Kemp was briefly benched after talking back to bench coach Bob Schaefer in the dugout.

"He's got enormous talent and he's certainly been a big part of the team and we're still looking for him to be a big part," said Torre. "You play 162 games and you've got to get help from other people. We put a lot of pressure on the likes of [Andre] Ethier, [Russell] Martin and Matty with Manny [Ramirez] on the DL three times. It's nice to have other people contributing."

With Gibbons playing left field, Scott Podsednik started in center.