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Dodgers’ Matt Kemp, who has hurt shoulder, aims to return Tuesday

SAN FRANCISCO — A day after receiving a couple of injections in his left shoulder, Matt Kemp remained hopeful he could return to the Dodgers’ lineup Tuesday for their series opener in Arizona. The Dodgers have a day off Monday.

Kemp didn’t take batting practice before the Dodgers’ 4-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, but he played catch.

“I pray to God I’ll be back,” he said.

Kemp underwent a contrast MRI exam the previous day that required dye to be injected in his shoulder. He was expected to need at least a couple of days to recover from the shot.

He also received a cortisone injection to treat the inflammation in his shoulder.

“It feels the same,” Kemp said of his shoulder. “It’s only one day. It has to kick in. We’ll see tomorrow.”

The previous night, Kemp was introduced by the public address announcer at a championship boxing match in nearby Oakland. The fans at Oracle Arena booed.

One problem: Kemp wasn’t there.

He said he was at a concert.

“I didn’t want to go watch people get beat up,” Kemp said. “I’ve been beat up all year. Stop the violence.”

Rodriguez makes debut

Only three months after he was drafted by the Dodgers from the University of Florida, left-hander Paco Rodriguez made his major league debut.

Rodriguez, the Dodgers’ second-round pick, faced only one batter Sunday, getting the left-handed-hitting Brandon Belt to ground out to first base to end the eighth inning.

Rodriguez, 21, became the first player drafted this year to reach the major leagues.

“I was just a little nervous,” Rodriguez said. “Once I got out there, I realized I was throwing in my first major league game.”

Rodriguez’s parents visited San Francisco this weekend but missed their son’s big moment. They watched only the first two games of the series and returned to their Miami home Sunday.

Rodriguez’s first name is Steven. His middle name is Francisco, for which the common nickname in Spanish is Paco. But in Rodriguez’s case, the nickname led to the actual name.

Before Rodriguez was born, his sister wanted to name him “Paquito” and referred to him as such when his mother was pregnant. That resulted in his parents’ giving him his middle name.

Short hops

Mark Ellis extended his hitting streak to seven games with a lead-off double in the first inning.

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The Giants have won 13 of their last 18 games against National League West teams. Their remaining 22 games are all against teams in their division.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com


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