TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Matt Kemp was happy to make the two-hour trip to Tucson to help honor the memory of Dodgers scout John Green’s daughter, and he put on some show, too.
Kemp homered among his three hits and drove in four runs for an overflow crowd that was at the ballpark to help raise money for the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Fund, leading Los Angeles in a 17-4 rout of the Chicago White Sox in a split squad game.
Nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green was killed in the shooting rampage on Jan. 8, 2011, that left six dead and 13 injured, including former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
“I think everybody wanted to come,” Kemp said. “I feel I needed to do that, being a leader, especially something for the Green family. This is a special time for them.”
An overflow crowd of 10,894 attended the game. The White Sox used to hold spring training in Tucson before moving to the Phoenix area.
Mark Ellis said: “I live in Arizona. … I have two little girls at home. … This means a lot to me.”
“The reason why we come and play it is obviously for the Greens. That’s important,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “But other than that, it was an ugly baseball day for us.”
Dee Gordon led off the game with a triple. Mark Ellis and Kemp followed with run-scoring doubles.
Kemp hit a long solo homer to left in the third inning. He drove in two more runs with a single in the fifth.
Nathan Eovaldi, who was 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA in six starts last season, pitched three scoreless innings for the Dodgers. He gave up three hits, striking out two.
“I’m trying to stay here and long as possible and show I can pitch here.” said Eovaldi, who lowered his ERA to 0.84. “This was definitely a good outing. I was able to work ahead in counts.”
White Sox starter Dylan Axelrod gave up four runs and 10 hits in four innings.
The Dodgers scored in six of the first seven innings, including a six-run fifth.
The White Sox scored two runs in the fourth inning on a throwing error by third baseman Jerry Hairston Jr. — his fifth error of the spring — and a run-scoring single by Dallas McPherson.
NOTES: Andre Ethier said he wore a bracelet honoring Christina all of last season. “I didn’t take it off one time.”… The White Sox staged spring training at the Kino complex from 1998 to 2008. … For the White Sox, Dayan Viciedo went 0 for 3, lowering his average to .121. He left five runners on base.
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