Kemp's blast backs solid Lilly in Dodgers' win

Kemp's blast backs solid Lilly in Dodgers' win

Kemp's blast backs solid Lilly in Dodgers' win
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- John Danks' quest for the Cactus League ERA title took a direct hit during the Dodgers' 6-2 victory over the White Sox on Wednesday afternoon at Camelback Ranch.

The talented left-hander, who entered the game with a 1.65 ERA and sat second to the Cubs' Randy Wells (1.35), gave up three earned runs (four total) on six hits over 5 1/3 innings. Danks struck out four and walked three, watching his spring ERA soar to 2.49.

One Matt Kemp smash actually did most of the damage. Tony Gwynn walked to open the fourth, and after Juan Uribe's long at-bat was extended when White Sox first baseman Mark Teahen missed his foul popup, the third baseman and one-time White Sox favorite dropped a single to right. Kemp followed with a 2-2 blast into the left-center-field stands, erasing a 1-0 White Sox lead with his fifth home run of the spring.

Carlos Quentin gave the White Sox an early lead in the second with his leadoff home run against Ted Lilly. A.J. Pierzynski followed with a double to left-center but was stranded at second.

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Lilly worked six solid innings, allowing two runs on six hits, while striking out five and not issuing a walk in his first Cactus League start since March 12. Uribe had two hits for the Los Angeles (11-16) offense, while Gordon Beckham had two for the White Sox (9-16-1).

Dodgers first baseman James Loney had two hits and plated a run in the seventh with a two-out single. Juan Castro added another RBI with a one-out single in the eighth.

White Sox up next: The second and final Cactus League contest with the Cubs takes place at HoHoKam Park on Thursday afternoon, starting with a 4:05 p.m. CT first pitch on MLB.TV. Phil Humber makes an important start, as he tries to take temporary hold of the fifth-starter slot, with Jake Peavy out of action due to rotator cuff tendinitis. Relievers Chris Sale and Sergio Santos also are set to pitch for the White Sox, while the Cubs Matt Garza gets the start. The Cubs won the first game between the two by a 4-3 margin on March 11 at Camelback Ranch.

Dodgers up next: Jamey Carroll could return to the lineup for Thursday's home game against Colorado. Hit by a pitch while trying to bunt, Carroll suffered a bruised right index finger that bothered him while throwing. Carroll could be the Opening Day second baseman if Juan Uribe starts at third for the injured Casey Blake. Hiroki Kuroda starts for the Dodgers, with first pitch at 1:05 p.m. PT on MLB.TV and an audio webcast.

Scott Merkin is a reporter for Read his blog, Being Ozzie Guillen, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.