Kemp snaps home run drought with solo shot

Right fielder goes deep for first time since April 18 in Padres' win

Kemp snaps home run drought with solo shot

CINCINNATI -- When Matt Kemp connected for a home run to right field in the fourth inning during the Padres' 9-7 win on Saturday at Great American Ball Park, it ended a stretch of 174 consecutive homerless at-bats for the Padres' right fielder.

Not that he had been keeping track.

"I could care less about home runs," said Kemp, whose only other home run this season came on April 18. "… What bothered me the most is not winning games. You swing the bat good and good things happen. I think I have got about 400 more at-bats to go. Maybe I can catch up."

The Padres wouldn't mind that at all. Heck, they would take more days like Saturday -- not just from Kemp, but from the offense, which rallied for the victory over the Reds. The last hit was supplied by -- guess who? -- Kemp, who put San Diego ahead with a two-run single in the eighth inning.

Kemp's two-run single

Kemp had three hits and drove in five runs, the most RBIs he's had in a game since 2011, as the Padres won their season-best fourth consecutive game.

"We talked with Matt a couple days ago about a couple of things mechanically, about a couple of things that could help him and he's taken it into the game," said Padres manager Bud Black. "The intent to do some damage and turn the bat loose, we're seeing that. We're seeing more aggressive swings on balls in the strike zone."

Kemp's home run was to right field, as was his two-run double in the fifth inning. His two-run single in the eighth inning was to left field.

"When I'm driving the ball to right field, I'm letting the ball travel deep. That's where I've had most of my success," Kemp said. "I've got to continue to do that. This is one game. It's a long season. I've got to get more consistent."

Kemp's two-run double

Kemp thinks you still haven't seen the best of the Padres.

"We've just got to do our thing. I don't think everyone has even come close to where they want to be productive-wise," he said. "I feel we're just heating up. We've been playing better baseball. We are still getting used to each other.

"I wish you could put a great team out there and it just clicks. But it takes two or three months. But we're right there. We're close."

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.