Kemp returns to lineup against D-backs

Kemp returns to lineup against D-backs

PHOENIX -- After missing two games over the weekend with a frayed shoulder labrum, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was back in the lineup Tuesday against the D-backs, feeling refreshed and batting cleanup.

The 27-year-old received a cortisone shot on Saturday in his shoulder, which was injured when he ran into the outfield fence at Coors Field in Denver on Aug. 28. Kemp came out on the field early Tuesday at Chase Field to play catch and hit batting practice before reporting to Dodgers manager Don Mattingly he felt healthy enough to go.

"I can't say he's 100 percent, I'm sure he's not, but he feels good and is ready to go," Mattingly said. "Hopefully it's allowed for him to calm down and get him going. The last time he came out, he felt like he couldn't do anything to help us."

Kemp entered Tuesday batting .315 with 18 homers and 56 RBIs. Throughout his injury-plagued season, the 2011 runner-up for the National League MVP Award has missed 56 games.

"I think it's been a challenging year for Matt. It's the first time he's really had to stop and start," Mattingly said. "It's hard to keep your rhythm when you play like that. It's probably been a good learning experience for him."