Triple crown a very tall order for Matt Kemp

Reporting from Phoenix — The improbable dream has become an impossible one.

Not entirely, but close.

For Matt Kemp to win the triple crown, the Dodgers would have to play close to 20 innings in their season finale at Chase Field on Wednesday.

If Kemp goes eight for eight, the New York Mets’ Jose Reyes goes 0 for 4 and the Milwaukee Brewers’ Ryan Braun 0 for 2 or one for five, the three players would finish with identical .333 averages.


Kemp’s average remained at .324 in the Dodgers’ 7-6, come-from-ahead loss in 10 innings to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday, as he was two for five with a double.

Kemp’s status as the league’s leader in home runs and runs batted in is under threat by Braun’s teammate, Prince Fielder.

Fielder hit three home runs to equal Kemp’s league-leading total of 38; Fielder’s five RBIs moved him to within four of Kemp’s 124.

A more reachable milestone for Kemp is to become the fifth player in major league history to hit 40 home runs and steal 40 bases in the same season.

Kemp has a history of hitting well against Joe Saunders, who will start for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In 27 career at-bats against Saunders, Kemp is batting .333 with three home runs and six RBIs.

Dodgers lose late

The Dodgers broke a 1-1 stalemate by scoring five runs in the 10th inning, only to give up six runs in the bottom half of the inning to fall to the Diamondbacks.

Blake Hawksworth made a mess of the game, giving up back-to-back two-out singles, then walking the bases loaded. The Diamondbacks got a run back when Aaron Miles misplayed a grounder by John McDonald .

With the score 6-2, Manager Don Mattingly removed Hawksworth and brought in closer Javy Guerra. That didn’t work any better.

Guerra walked Aaron Hill to force in a run and served up a walk-off home run to Ryan Roberts.

The blown save was Guerra’s second of the season.

Was this Kuroda’s final start?

In what might have been his last time pitching in the major leagues, Hiroki Kuroda pitched six scoreless innings, limiting the Diamondbacks to five hits.

Kuroda was in line for his 14th victory until the Diamondbacks tied the game, 1-1, in the seventh inning.

Kuroda finished the season 13-16 with a 3.07 earned-run average. By reaching the 200-inning mark, Kuroda received a $200,000 bonus, raising his total incentive earnings to $500,000. He earned an $8-million base salary this year, plus a deferred $4-million signing bonus.

General Manager Ned Colletti said he would like to re-sign Kuroda next season and is expecting to meet with him Wednesday to discuss his future.

Kuroda, 36, hasn’t said whether he will remain in the United States or pitch in Japan next season.

In his four seasons with the Dodgers, Kuroda is 41-46 with a 3.45 ERA.