In his low-key way, 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 2½ 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,” 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.”
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 Báez 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, 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.
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