Matt Kemp aggravates hammy, Andre Ethier gets ejected

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The Dodgers’ big guns left it to Bobby Abreu and A.J. Ellis to do the damage in an 11-5 win over the Rockies on Sunday.

Matt Kemp left prior to the fourth inning after tweaking his sore left hamstring, and Andre Ethier was ejected in the fifth inning for arguing a called strike three.

Kemp grounded out to end the bottom of the third inning and was seen talking to the trainer before being replaced by Bobby Abreu to start the fourth, with Tony Gwynn Jr. moving from left field to center. Kemp was starting a sixth straight game today after being held out of the lineup last Sunday with the hamstring injury.

Ethier and manager Don Mattingly were both tossed in the fifth inning. He was okay after initially arguing the called strike three for the second out of the frame, but after starting to go to the dugout, he decided he had a few more things to say, earning him the thumb. Mattingly was tossed after arguing on Ethier’s behalf.

Scott Van Slyke replaced Ethier in right field with the Dodgers up 8-4 after five.

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.