In his low-key way Jaelen Strong Jersey , Ross Stripling thinks of himself as ”an unknown guy having a random good year.”
Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp, third among National League outfielders in All-Star balloting, hopes he can take his 28-year-old teammate with him to the Midsummer Classic.
”He needs to be in there,” Kemp said. ”That boy is pitching his butt off. He’s been a big part of our success.”
Stripling tossed four-hit ball over 6 1/3 innings, Kemp and Enrique Hernandez went deep to give the Dodgers a major league-leading 32 homers this month, and Los Angeles beat the rival San Francisco Giants 3-2 on Friday night for their season high-tying fourth straight win.
The Dodgers stumbled through the first two months, losing six of their first 10 matchups with the Giants.
What a difference June has made. They are 10-2 this month and trail NL West-leading Arizona by 2 1/2 games.
”We’ve been playing the way we expect to play,” Kemp said.
Stripling (6-1) extended his career-best winning streak to six games and is 4-0 at home this season. The right-hander gave up a two-run, opposite-field homer to Pablo Sandoval and had six strikeouts with no walks.
”He threw a lot of strikes. He dominated,” Sandoval said.
Stripling was a reliever in April but now is one of the Dodgers’ most consistent starters with Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill and Walker Buehler on the disabled list.
”I knew I wanted to be a starter and I felt I could do it,” Stripling said.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts’ confidence in Stripling has been rewarded.
”He’s throwing the heck out of it Tarik Cohen Jersey ,” Roberts said. ”Executing pitches and trying to dissect hitters, this is who he is.”
After giving up a leadoff double to Joe Panik, Stripling retired his next 12 batters. Sandoval singled leading off the sixth before Stripling retired another six consecutive hitters.
”They played 16 innings in Miami yesterday, so that helps,” said Stripling, who spent his off day watching the Giants win before flying west. ”You’re always going to go out there and attack knowing they’re tired. Maybe they don’t have that much fight.”
Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth for his 16th save.
The Giants trailed 3-2 in the seventh after Sandoval’s shot chased Stripling. The Dodgers’ bullpen then retired San Francisco’s final eight batters in sending the Giants to a 17th loss in their last 23 road games.
”We got back in the game on him but we couldn’t do much as far as putting pressure on him,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said.
Kemp homered on the first pitch from Derek Holland (4-7) in the fourth. Yasmani Grandal was safe at third on an error by center fielder Austin Jackson and he scored on Yasiel Puig’s double to deep right-center for a 2-0 lead.
Hernandez homered into the left-field pavilion in the first.
The Dodgers’ 88 homers this season are tops in the National League.
Holland gave up three runs – two earned – in five innings. He struck out seven and walked two.
Earlier in the day, Kemp was suspended for one game and fined an undisclosed amount for his involvement in a scuffle with Texas Rangers catcher Robinson Chirinos on Wednesday. Kemp appealed the punishment, so he’s allowed to play until the process is completed.
Giants: 3B Evan Longoria (broken left hand) went on the disabled list a day after getting hit by a pitch at Miami. … INF Brandon Belt will be activated Saturday after having an appendectomy.
Dodgers: Placed reliever Pedro B锟絜z on 10-day DL with right biceps tendinitis, retroactive to Tuesday.
NO LUCK AGAINST LA
Holland has never fared well against the Dodgers. He’s 0-3 with a 6.38 ERA in four career starts against them. He has struck out 16 and walked 13. ”They were laying off some pretty good pitches,” he said. ”They did a pretty good job of working the count.”
Madison Bumgarner (0-1, 4.76 ERA) pitches for the Giants on Saturday against Alex Wood (1-5 Kenny Golladay Jersey , 4.43) in a matchup of lefties. Bumgarner seeks his first win in his third start after missing the first two months of the season with a broken left pinkie.
More than four months have passed for Stefon Diggs since his yes-that-really-happened touchdown reception for Minnesota on the desperate last play from scrimmage gave the Vikings a postseason victory for the ages over New Orleans.
He still hears about the play a couple of times per week.
As nice as the accolades can be, they won’t win the Vikings any games this year.
”I’m kind of over it at this point. It’s definitely a blessing, but we’ve got a brand new season to worry about, a lot of exciting things taking place right now, so I’m going to focus on that,” Diggs said. ”It’s definitely an old smile right now.”
After a career-high eight touchdowns in 2017 while forming one of the NFL’s best wide receiver duos with Adam Thielen, Diggs has entered the final year of his rookie contract, bound for a big raise.
With Kirk Cousins now in place, he’s working with his fourth primary starting quarterback in as many seasons in the league. John DeFilippo also represents his third offensive coordinator.
Diggs is not one to be ruffled, though, not with the hurdles he has cleared over his career and the setbacks he’s faced in life since his dad died 10 years ago.
”For me, it’s just the same old building process Kerry Hyder Jersey , getting back going, getting the trust of your quarterback. That excites me, having a new challenge,” said Diggs, who went to the Atlanta area with Thielen earlier this spring to hang out with and catch passes from Cousins.
Those receiver-quarterback relationships are as important as any on the roster.
”As far as being our general and the guy that’s going to lead us, I put 100 percent faith in him,” Diggs said.
Diggs is not the only integral Vikings player with an expiring deal, joining linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Danielle Hunter in the about-to-get-paid-a-lot club with no guarantee all three of them will fit under the salary cap.
The price for Diggs has markedly increased since the ”Minneapolis Miracle ” game not only because of the clutch catch.
Mike Evans (Tampa Bay), Sammy Watkins (Kansas City) and Jarvis Landry (Cleveland) have all signed new contracts since March with annual average values of more than $15 million. Diggs has been watching, naturally, with several public praises of his peers . Reading between the tweets? Diggs is clearly confident he’ll be in their situation soon.
”I like to congratulate guys every chance I get,” Diggs said. ”So for my particular situation Cordy Glenn Jersey , I let my resume speak for itself. It’ll figure itself out.”
If an extension doesn’t get done in 2018 and he becomes a free agent, he could still sign with the Vikings, of course. Exploring the market doesn’t sound like a goal of his, however.
”I love playing for the Vikings. I started here. I’ve had all my time here. I love my teammates. I love my staff. There’s no place I’d rather be,” he said.
Barr was the only notable player missing on Wednesday from practice. Coach Mike Zimmer said Barr told him he wouldn’t attend, but Zimmer didn’t divulge a reason. Barr’s absence could be driven by a form of soft protest about the lack of a new deal or self-preservation from injury. These organized team activities in late May and early June are not required. Only the minicamp in mid-June is contractually mandatory.
One player whose presence was more pertinent than anyone’s absence was kicker Kai Forbath, who was startled last month when the Vikings drafted Auburn kicker Daniel Carlson in the fifth round. Such moves rarely end well for the incumbent.
”I fortunately have never lost a competition, and I’m not shying away from this one just because they drafted him,” Forbath said. ”As long as I make my kicks, everything should take care of itself.”
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