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Kemp returns, bats cleanup for first time this year

Kemp returns, bats cleanup for first time this year

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Kemp returns, bats cleanup for first time this year
LOS ANGELES -- After two days out following his collision with the Coors Field wall on Tuesday, Matt Kemp was back in the Dodgers' lineup for Friday night's game and batting cleanup for the first time this season.

Manager Don Mattingly said Kemp felt fine hitting in the cage and he would start unless his shoulder tightened up before first pitch.

With the slugger back in the lineup, Mattingly opted to flip Kemp and newly acquired Adrian Gonzalez in the third and fourth spots. After a breather on Thursday, second baseman Mark Ellis was back leading off with Shane Victorino behind him. Gonzalez and Kemp were followed by Hanley Ramirez and Andre Ethier.

Mattingly said he made the change to further separate Gonzalez and Ethier, both lefties, and create matchup problems out of the bullpen for opposing managers. He said both Kemp and Gonzalez were fine with the switch.

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