Kemp's home run dings Giants' playoff hopes

LOS ANGELES — Matt Kemp went 4-for-5 with a two-run homer and a career-high three doubles in his final home game of the season, Juan Rivera homered and drove in three runs and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat San Francisco 8-2 Thursday night, pushing the Giants to the brink of elimination in the NL West playoff race.

The Giants open a three-game series at first-place Arizona on Friday and a victory by the Diamondbacks, who were idle Thursday, would eliminate the defending World Series champions.

The Dodgers moved a game over .500 with Hall of Famer Tom Lasorda serving as honorary coach of the team he managed to two World Series titles during his 20-year tenure.

Kemp's two-run homer in the eighth inning off Barry Zito was his 36th, second-best in the NL. The league MVP candidate scored three times to extend his NL lead to 109 runs and and 118 RBIs.

Hiroki Kuroda (13-16) allowed two runs and five hits in seven-plus innings to extend his career high in wins. The right-hander struck out four and walked none. By pitching the first inning, Kuroda earned a $175,000 bonus. He gave up a run and two hits as the Giants took a 1-0 lead on Carlos Beltran's two-out homer.

It might have been Kuroda's final start at Chavez Ravine. He becomes a free agent after the World Series and will turn 37 in the offseason. He was the subject of considerable trade speculation before the non-waiver deadline, when he declined to waive his no-trade clause with the only major league team he's pitched for since coming from Japan four seasons ago. Kuroda has spoken of wanting to pitch the final seasons of his career with the Hiroshima Carp in his hometown.

Madison Bumgarner (12-13) gave up four runs and nine hits in four innings, struck out one and walked none to snap his five-game winning streak. It was the left-hander's shortest outing since he also pitched four innings in a 7-2 loss at Cincinnati on July 30.

Mets 8, Cardinals 6

At St. Louis, St. Louis blew a four-run lead in the ninth inning and hurt its wild-card hopes when shortstop Rafael Furcal misplayed a potential double-play grounder, allowing New York to rally.

Ahead 6-2, the Cardinals walked three batters in helping the Mets take the lead with a six-run burst. Willie Harris drew a walk to begin the inning and capped it with a tiebreaking, two-run single with two outs.

The loss dropped St. Louis two games behind idle Atlanta for the wild card. Each team has six games left. The Cardinals lost for only the third time in 16 games.

Nationals 6, Phillies 1

At Philadelphia, Brad Peacock, making just his second major league start, pitched 52/3 scoreless innings and Michael Morse hit a three-run homer.

Roger Bernadina drove in two runs for the Nationals (76-79), who handed the division champions their sixth straight loss.

Astros 9, Rockies 6

At Houston, Carlos Lee doubled and drove in four runs, pinch-hitter Matt Downs knocked in three more and the Astros beat Colorado, extending the Rockies' losing streak to a season-high eight games.

Rays 15, Yankees 8

At New York, Matt Moore struck out 11 in five innings of his first major league start and the Rays unloaded on the watered-down Yankees a night after New York clinched the AL East title.

The Rays avoided a four-game sweep and pulled within two games on idle Boston in the AL wild-card race. Both teams have six games left.

Athletics 4, Rangers 3

At Oakland, Calif., Coco Crisp hit a go-ahead single in the eighth inning and Oakland beat first-place Texas to avoid a series sweep.

Twins 3, Mariners 2

At Minneapolis, Rene Tosoni hit an RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning and the Minnesota Twins snapped their 11-game losing streak, beating the Seattle Mariners.

Indians 11, White Sox 2

At Cleveland, Asdrubal Cabrera drove in five runs and Jeanmar Gomez won his fifth straight start for Cleveland as the Indians beat the White Sox to remain in second place in the AL Central.

Blue Jays 4, Angels 3

At Toronto, Edwin Encarnacion hit a game-ending home run in the 12th inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Los Angeles, dealing the Angels another blow in their chase for a playoff berth.

Orioles 6, Tigers 5

At Detroit, J.J. Hardy and Adam Jones homered and the Orioles ruined the Tigers' homecoming.

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