Originally posted on Fox Sports West  |  Last updated 4/10/12
Left-hander Ted Lilly pitched in a rehab game with the Class A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes on Sunday, and the results were less than stellar. Lilly allowed seven runs on eight hits in six innings against the Inland Empire 66ers, including two home runs. But manager Don Mattingly was unconcerned with the results, and more focused on the fact that Lilly got his work in to get ready for his scheduled start on April 14 at Dodger Stadium against the Padres. "Obviously, if he would come back tomorrow with his neck killing him, that would set him back," Mattingly said. "More than anything, it's just getting him built up and not hurting after that. "He's past this injury, and it's just about getting his arm strength up." Lilly missed two spring training starts because of a stiff neck and though he feels better, his arm strength wasn't built up enough to be ready to join the rotation on opening day. Lilly also pitched a simulated game on April 2 in Anaheim before the Dodgers played a Freeway Series exhibition game against the Angels. The Dodgers' day offf on April 9 allowed them to use four starting pitchers for the first eight games of the season. Lilly got off to a poor start last season, but was 5-4 with a 2.09 ERA with 64 strikeouts in 69 innings over the final two months. Earlier in spring training, Lilly stressed the importance of starting out 2012 strong. "I take pride in answering the bell every five days, but I also want to be more effective coming out of the gate," Lilly said. "I put us in some tough spots early in the year. "For any starting pitcher, it sucks when you put your club in that position and you ask your bullpen to pick up so many innings and your offense to play from behind." Should Lilly not be ready to make his scheduled start on Saturday for the Dodgers, Nathan Eovaldi would be recalled from Double A Chattanooga to start in Lilly's place. NOTES, QUOTES Kemp picks up right where he left off last season --CF Matt Kemp got off to a hot start in San Diego, batting .412 with two home runs and a major league-leading six runs. Kemp also tied for the major league lead with both eight RBI and 14 total bases, in only four games. Kemp has a 16-game hitting streak dating to 2011, during which time he has hit .423.444.882 with eight home runs and 24 RBI. Kemp won the National League Player of the Week Award for his efforts, the third time he has won the award. --LHP Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start his third consecutive Dodgers' home opener on Tuesday, making him the first Dodger pitcher to start three straight home openers since Claude Osteen did it from 1965-1970. --RHP Josh Lindblom, who won the last spot in the Dodgers' bullpen during spring training, began his season with four scoreless innings in relief while not allowing a hit. --1B James Loney has started the season in a slump, with no hits in 12 at-bats in his first three games. In 42 career games at Petco Park in San Diego, Loney has struggled, to the tune of a .208 batting average and .340 slugging percentage, with four home runs and 13 RBI. --RHP Matt Guerrier battled a back injury in spring training that kept him out of a major league spring game for nearly three weeks, but he has recovered nicely to post two scoreless relief outings to open his season. Guerrier is in the second year of a three-year, 12 million free agent contract he signed with the club before 2011. BY THE NUMBERS: 50 -- RBI for CF Matt Kemp over his last 50 games, dating to last season. During that span, Kemp also has 52 runs and 15 home runs. QUOTE TO NOTE: "I'm feeling good right now. Hopefully I can continue to hit the ball like I have these last four days, and we'll see what happens." -- CF Matt Kemp, on his hot start to the 2012 season.
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