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ARI@LAD: Hudson solid, fans four over seven innings

When the National League West champion D-backs begin a regular-season-ending three-game series against the Dodgers on Monday at Chase Field, one might think they'll be coasting while lining up their postseason roster and rotation.

That isn't the case, according to the players.

The reason is that after Sunday's games, Arizona trails NL Central-champion Milwaukee by only one game. If the D-backs (93-66 entering Monday) can finish with an identical or better record than the Brewers (94-65), they'll get to start the NL Division Series at home against the Wild Card winner (Atlanta is leading those standings by a game over St. Louis) instead of traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies. The D-backs hold the tiebreaker with the Brewers by virtue of their superior head-to-head record.

Worth playing for? Absolutely, and it begins Monday, when right-hander Daniel Hudson starts for the D-backs against Dodgers lefty Dana Eveland.

"Every win is big right now," D-backs closer J.J. Putz said. "We're trying to get home-field advantage for the first round of the playoffs. Milwaukee is playing good baseball, so we're just going to have to keep our foot on the throttle and show up every day ready to play."

Right-hander Josh Collmenter echoed those sentiments, saying the team isn't satisfied with merely showing up in October. The D-backs want to give themselves the best chance to win.

"We're fighting for home-field advantage now, so as long as we keep winning, hopefully the Brewers can slip up a little bit and make it close down to the end," Collmenter said.

For the Dodgers, it will be about outfielder Matt Kemp trying to nail down a the first NL Triple Crown since Joe Medwick accomplished the feat in 1937, and letting players play and seeing what the organization has and might have in the future

Entering Monday's game, Kemp is tied with Albert Pujols for the league lead in homers with 37, he led the league in RBIs with 120, and his batting average of .324 was third in the league, seven points behind Milwaukee's Ryan Braun.

"I really hope people see what he's done," Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw said, lobbying MVP voters for Kemp. "I hope they get it right."

For the rest of the Dodgers, manager Don Mattingly will try to get it right over the season's last three games.

"Guys like to play at the end," Mattingly said. "Matty [Kemp] will keep playing. We'll look at Jerry [Sands], [Justin] Sellers a little bit. Fed [Tim Federowicz] a game or two. We'll still keep playing our guys.

"I don't have to play [Russell Mitchell], we know what he can do. We'll keep playing Dee [Gordon]. James [Loney] wants to play. We'll try to win games."

Dodgers: Kemp seeking history
• Kemp needs three home runs over his last three games to become only the fifth player in MLB history with a 40-homer, 40-steal season. He has homered seven times in 39 games at Chase Field. He's hit in nine straight games and is batting .474 (18-for-38) with 13 runs, five doubles, four homers and 10 RBIs during the run, which began on Sept. 16.

• Sands singled Sunday to extend his career-long hitting streak to 13 games (21-for-48, .438), which is tied for the eighth-best rookie hitting streak in franchise history (Willy Aybar, May 26-June 7, 2006).

• Reliever Kenley Jansen has allowed nine hits (9-for-100, .090) and two runs with 58 strikeouts over 31 innings (0.58 ERA) in 29 appearances since June 18.

D-backs: Upton to be evaluated Monday
• D-backs right fielder Justin Upton will be evalulated Monday after being hit in the helmet by a Tim Lincecum fastball in the first inning of Sunday's 5-2 win over the Giants.

"Our concerns are on the lower side, but we're going to watch him carefully and make sure he's fine," D-backs team physician Michael Lee said. "Justin got hit on the bill of his helmet, thank goodness it was a glancing blow rather than a direct blow. Neurologically, he looked great on the field according to the trainers, no loss of consciousness, had no loss of memory."

Upton is listed as day to day.

• Hudson will try to bounce back from a personal two-start losing streak. He is 1-1 with a 1.69 ERA against the Dodgers this year.

• Putz (24-for-24), David Hernandez (4-for-5) and Zach Duke (1-for-1) have converted 29 of 30 saves since the All-Star break for a 96.7 save percentage, the highest in the Majors since then.

Worth noting
• Dodgers infielder Jamey Carroll is batting .348 (47-for-135) when leading off an inning.

• D-backs pitchers have a single-season club-high 34 RBIs and 56 hits, both of which lead the Majors. Comments