Kemp back up to speed on basepaths

Kemp back up to speed on basepaths

MIAMI -- Matt Kemp returned from the disabled list on July 13, began running more aggressively a couple of weeks later and finally cut loose on Saturday night with his first multi-steal game in 13 months.

Manager Don Mattingly said it's good to see Kemp finally back and whole, after a left hamstring strain that sidelined the All-Star for nearly two months and limited him even after he was activated.

"I just think this is who he is," Mattingly said. "For a while, he wasn't taking chances. [He was] playing cautious, and that's just not the way to play. It's the reason you love certain guys, because they can do everything. Now, you see the speed element, and it's the whole package you want to see."

Speed contributed to the first two Dodgers runs on Saturday night, one scoring when Shane Victorino beat out a double-play grounder, the other was set up by one of Kemp's two stolen bases.

Mattingly then imagined the type of speed the Dodgers lineup will have if and when Dee Gordon returns from thumb surgery, although that might not happen until the roster expands on Sept. 1, because he won't be cleared for hitting until Friday at the earliest. Gordon would join Kemp, Victorino and Hanley Ramirez as "legitimate running guys," Mattingly said.

"That's what you like to see when you're building a team," Mattingly said. "You can score runs in different ways, like we did last night."