Matt Kemp got his first opportunity to face one of his former teams, the San Diego Padres, at Petco Park since being traded back to the Los Angeles Dodgers this past offseason.
He showed no mercy to his old club in the Dodgers’ 10-3 victory, going 2-for-2 with a towering three-run home run to left field, his second of the season. Kemp was showered with cheers from Dodgers fans who were in attendance.
Following the win, Kemp admitted to having additional satisfaction over hitting the homer because of the boos he heard, per Michael Duarte of NBC LA:
“You come to a place that you played, you want to do good. I had some fans screaming at me tonight, so I got to shut them up a little bit. For a while. That definitely helped me in the outfield for a while.”
Kemp also added that he was not surprised to receive the treatment, recalling his time playing for the Padres at Dodger Stadium:
“I got booed at Dodger Stadium when I got traded. The fans love their team, they stick with their team, that’s just a part of the game. It is what it is.”
Kemp’s second stint with the Dodgers has been a good one so far. Through his first 14 games, he has slashed .333/.391/.548 with two home runs and seven RBI.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted to pinch-hit Joc Pederson for Kemp in the top of the fifth inning despite his hot night at the plate. The reason for it was not based on an injury, Roberts just wanted to get the 33-year-old Kemp off his feet and get Pederson some at-bats with the Padres turning to their right-handed heavy bullpen.
Kemp should be back in the lineup for the Dodgers on Tuesday, and he comes in swinging a hot bat, going 10-for-23 (.435 batting average) in his last seven games.