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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 29: Tony Kemp #5 of the Oakland Athletics hits a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning against the New York Yankees at RingCentral Coliseum on August 29, 2021 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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Kemp’s Clutch Blast Leads A’s To Series Split With Yankees

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Oakland is just 2.5 games back of Boston for the second AL Wild Card spot

If we have learned anything this season, it’s this:

Tony Kemp loves to play against the New York Yankees.

With things gridlocked at 1-1 late on Sunday night, Kemp drilled a two-run home run in the bottom of the eighth-inning to secure a 3-1 win over the Yankees, giving Oakland a much-needed win to pick up a game on the Boston Red Sox in the American League Wild Card standings.

This wasn’t Kemp’s first clutch hit against the Yankees this season, as the 29-year-old utility man delivered a go-ahead, three-run home run in the sixth-inning back on June 18th in the Bronx to give the A’s a 5-3 win.

Over six regular season games against the Yankees, Kemp went eight-for-16 (.500) with three home runs and 7 RBI.

“Honestly, it felt pretty good off of the bat,” Kemp said of his clutch blast on Sunday night. “I’m not usually a guy that back-spins balls to right field, especially in Oakland where it’s tough to get out. The last thing I was trying to do was hit a home run right there. I was trying to put a good swing on a ball there. I think I was as surprised as everyone else in the stands.”

Kemp’s blast came at just the right time as Oakland was staring down the possibility of extra-innings and a potential series loss to New York, but the A’s bullpen did its job and Kemp’s home run was the cherry on top for an overall solid weekend at the Coliseum.

Paul Blackburn was able to contain the Yankees offense, posting five innings of shutout ball before handing it over to the bullpen. New York’s lone run came on the backend of two consecutive errors made by Yan Gomes and Matt Chapman, allowing Gary Sanchez to score on a batted ball from Anthony Rizzo that skipped through Chapman’s legs.

That would be all for New York, who lost consecutive games for the first time since July 3-4th.

Oakland was able to regain some ground in the Wild Card race, cutting Boston’s lead for the second spot to just 2.5 games before the Red Sox travel to Tampa Bay for a critical four-game set against a red-hot Rays team.

The A’s will enjoy an off-day on Monday before beginning a three-game series against the Detroit Tigers on Tuesday night in Michigan. While the Tigers are out of playoff contention, they are no slouch at home this year, boasting a 34-32 record at Comerica Park.

You can find all of your Oakland A’s action right here on Sports 1140 KHTK, with first pitch coming at 4:10pm PST on Tuesday night.