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Parkview grad gets called up

Almost exactly two years since he got his first call-up to the major leagues, Parkview grad Jeff Keppinger is back in the bigs.

The former UGA star was called up to the Kansas City Royals on Friday after putting up stellar numbers with the team's Class AAA affiliate in Omaha.

Through 32 games with the club, Keppinger was hitting .354 with two home runs, 17 RBIs, six doubles, 12 walks and just nine strikeouts.

The 26-year-old second baseman, who was traded from the Mets franchise to the Royals in July, is hitting a cumulative .316 in AAA this year, with 19 doubles, 43 RBIs and a walk-to-strikeout ratio of 40-30 in 490 plate appearances.

This will be Keppinger's second stint in the major leagues. He was previously called up on Aug. 20, 2004, with the Mets. In 33 games for the New York club that year he hit .284 with three home runs, nine RBIs and just seven strikeouts in 116 major-league at-bats.

He was well on his way to getting another call-up to the Mets last year - he was hitting .337 for the AAA Norfolk Tides - when a sliding baserunner broke a bone in Keppinger's knee and knocked him out for the rest of the season.

With Keppinger's promotion, there are now four former Gwinnett County products playing in the major leagues.

Parkview's Jeff Francoeur and Duluth's Brian McCann are starting for the Braves and Duluth product Nick Green is a reserve with the New York Yankees.

The Royals are in Toronto this weekend for a three-game series.