Kemp went 2-for-2 with a walk and a two-run home run in Tuesday's 5-4 win over the Tigers. Kemp continued his hot hitting and is 8-for-21 (.381 average) with a home run and four RBI in July. The current health of the Astros' outfield leaves the 26-year-old without a true starting role, but he has played well enough as a fill-in to secure semi-regular opportunities.
Kemp will start in center field and bat ninth Sunday against the Angels, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. For the sixth straight game, Kemp will fill in for the injured George Springer (quadriceps) in the outfield. While Kemp has done a commendable job as a replacement with six hits in 15 at-bats over the previous five contests, his run as an everyday player will soon come to an end. Manager A.J. Hinch announced earlier Sunday that he expects Springer to return to the lineup for Monday's series opener with the Athletics, according to Rome.
Kemp is out of the lineup Sunday against the Athletics. Kemp will be withheld from the starting nine against Oakland left-hander Sean Manaea, enabling Marwin Gonzalez to pick up a turn in left field. The 26-year-old has delivered a .761 OPS over 20 appearances since the All-Star break, which has helped him retain a semi-regular spot in the Houston lineup.
Kemp went 1-for-3 with a solo home run in Saturday's 7-1 loss to the Athletics. Kemp supplied the lone run with his fifth homer of the season in the ninth inning, just the team's second hit off Oakland pitching. He's been getting steady playing time, which could begin to erode when Jose Altuve (knee) returns. Altuve embarks on a rehab assignment Sunday and could be activated early this week. That would allow utility player Marwin Gonzalez to get some time in the outfield. Kemp (.794 OPS), however, has been a more productive hitter than Gonzalez (.703) and could still get four or five starts per week while Gonzalez moves around the diamond to give rest to everyday regulars.
Kemp is not in the lineup for Tuesday's game against the Giants. Kemp will head to the bench against left-hander Madison Bumgarner after starting seven of the team's last eight games in the outfield. The Astros will deploy an outfield consisting of Marwin Gonzalez, Jake Marisnick and Josh Reddick (from left to right) in his absence.