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Elephant Rumblings: Tony Kemp heating up

MLB news roundup

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Oakland Athletics v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Mark Blinch/Getty Images

Happy Monday, Athletics Nation!

The A’s 2023 season plods along: after breaking up an eight game losing streak on Friday with an exciting win in Toronto, the boys in green and gold got back to losing decisively for the remaining two games in the series against the Blue Jays. Thus, the A’s return to Oakland after a 1-5 road trip, standing at 8-14 in the month of June despite a seven game wining streak.

One bright spot in June that may console A’s fans is the resurgence of Tony Kemp after struggling through the first two months of the 2023 season. TK provided all of the A’s offense in yesterday’s 12-1 drubbing in Toronto, preventing a shutout with a home run off Yusei Kikuchi in the sixth.

Julia Kreuz at noted that Kemp is hitting .297 this month with a .921 OPS. That improvement hasn’t yet been enough to get Tony’s batting average over .200 for the season, but it’s a start. A’s manager Mark Kotsay remarked that Kemp has set a good example for his younger teammates in methodically grinding through his slump and demonstrating that with persistence, results will eventually come.

“He definitely showed the young guys what it means to go through a struggle at this level and continue to work,” said Kotsay. “Time is his ally. He’s coming out of it and being a true pro.”

Kemp has also been making some spectacular defensive plays this month, like this falling down, over-the-shoulder gem of a catch he made in shallow center against the Guardians last week.

Let’s hope all of this presages a ripping second half for this A’s veteran. Keep it up, TK!

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