Both Kemp and Ethier entered Wednesday's game having gone 1-for-22, dating back to Aug. 15 for Kemp and Aug. 16 for Ethier.
"Those are the guys you count on," manager Don Mattingly said. "We talk about it early in the year before this year started. Matt is going to have to have a big year. Andre is going to have to have a big year. We are going to need production from those guys to be a part of it."
Kemp went 1-for-3 with solid at-bats Tuesday night that encouraged Mattingly, and he's been steady the entire season when healthy for the most part.
As for Ethier, it's been a struggle at times since hitting .366 in May. He batted .218 in June and now he's batting .197 in August after hitting safely in 15 out of 18 games in July.
Mattingly said he is concerned, but he also pointed out how Ethier picked things up on the team's most recent 10-game road trip. Although the right fielder had a hit in seven of those games, as well as a few timely hits, he still finished the trip 8-for-40 and he's gone 0-for-8 against the Giants since returning home.
"He's streaky like everybody else," Mattingly said. "... Andre is no different than Matt. We need him to go. That's where it is."
The manager pointed out how hard he notices Ethier is working to right the ship and added he's been doing everything the team has asked. However, he said both he and Ethier expect more.