Kemp sits in favor of Pierre

Kemp sits in favor of Pierre

SAN DIEGO -- With Padres ace Jake Peavy on the mound, Dodgers manager Joe Torre replaced struggling outfielder Matt Kemp with veteran Juan Pierre in Saturday's starting lineup.

"Kemp's struggling," Torre said of the 23-year-old, who is 2-for-15 with six strikeouts. "The game is speeding up. I talked to him this morning. I did say that all the things I'm telling you I couldn't do at your age. The game speeds up and he's just impatient. He's an intelligent kid. He plays hard with a lot of enthusiasm.

"He'll play most of the time. I didn't think Jake Peavy was a good matchup for him."

Pierre is 6-for-27 lifetime against Peavy, but Kemp has never faced the Padres ace.

"I'm trying to do too much," said Kemp, who hit .342 last year. "I just need to let the game come to me. Shoot, I know I can hit. I need to get back to my game plan. I know what I have to do. I'm not worried at all. It's just my approach. I'm trying to get 10 hits and 10 RBIs in one at-bat. You can't do things like that. It's going to turn around real quick."

Kemp said Torre told him to relax and have fun.

"But it's not really his job, I've got to do it," Kemp said. "Once Andruw [Jones] and Russell [Martin] and I start to hit, this team will be hard to beat."

Pierre is making his second start in five games after losing the left-field job to Andre Ethier. General manager Ned Colletti said he received a call from Pierre's agent asking for clarification of his role and Colletti said he delivered a message that the better Pierre performed in the opportunities he had, the more playing time he was likely to earn.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.