Kemp steals the show in Hollywood

Kemp steals the show in Hollywood

LOS ANGELES -- No matter which shade of blue he's wearing, Matt Kemp loves to hit at Dodger Stadium.

That was never more evident than Friday night, when the former Dodger launched a majestic three-run homer into the Los Angeles night, the decisive blow in a 5-1 Padres victory.

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Kemp did it all as the Padres snapped their five-game losing streak and their nine-game skid vs. their National League West rivals. He smoked a fourth-inning double off the top of the center-field wall and scored the first run. Then, in the bottom of that frame, he fired to second base to get Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal -- one of the players for whom he was traded -- trying to stretch a single into a double.

Kemp's go-ahead homer

Kemp is hitting .320 against his former club since being dealt last offseason, and he's batting .346 as a visitor at Dodger Stadium.

"I think anybody would [get extra satisfaction] playing against their old team, somewhere where they'd been so long," Kemp said. "Honestly, I just felt like we needed that win as a team. That's the most important thing. We played some good baseball tonight. Saw some good pitching, some good defense, and it was a good overall win."

A chorus of boos with a smattering of cheers greeted Kemp -- once so beloved here at Chavez Ravine -- as he stepped to the plate in a 1-1 game in the bottom of the eighth.

Dodgers reliever Chris Hatcher got ahead of Kemp with two strikes, before hanging a splitter that Kemp sent flying. According to Statcast™, the homer left Kemp's bat at 104 mph with a 37-degree launch angle, the seventh-highest in the Majors this season.

The significance of Kemp's homer was not lost on Padres manager Andy Green. In this week's series against San Francisco, San Diego routinely left runners in scoring position en route to being swept.

"We've kind of been spending a good portion of the season waiting for that big swing in that big situation," Green said "That's what he delivered for us today on a couple occasions."

For Kemp -- who leads the Padres with seven homers this season -- it was just another big night at a ballpark where he's had too many to count since he debuted with Los Angeles in 2006.

What exactly is it that makes Kemp thrive at Chavez Ravine?

"The energy, man," Kemp said. "It's a good stadium, the fans are loud. People feed off of that."

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.