Kazmir finally defeats nemesis Angels
Lefty beats former club for first time since 2008
OAKLAND -- Scott Kazmir has routinely been blasted by the Angels in recent years, so perhaps it was no coincidence he has routinely been skipped against them this season.
The two sides finally met again Sunday, and it was Kazmir who came out the victor.
"I've been champing at the bit to get another shot at them," Kazmir said. "It feels a little bit more special to pitch the way I did today against that team. As much as they've heckled me the past year or so, it felt good."
The veteran lefty allowed his former team just one run on six hits with three walks and six strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings in a 3-2 A's win, giving them not only their sixth win in the last eight games but a series victory over their division foes.
For Kazmir, it was his first win against the Angels since May 10, 2008, and his fourth of the season overall. He has a 2.70 ERA, good for seventh in the American League.
"Outstanding," catcher Stephen Vogt said. "Obviously with his history with the Angels, to come out and do what he did today was just absolutely huge."
Kazmir entered the day with a 7.56 ERA in seven career starts against the Halos and had not pitched more than three innings against them in any of his previous three starts.
This time, he made it into the eighth inning and was unpredictable throughout, getting help from his defense by way of a pair of double plays to end the fifth and sixth.
"Probably took a couple innings to settle in, then he pitched as well as we've seen him early in the season the way he was pitching," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He mixed his pitches really well today, a few curveballs and changeups to slow them down. Fastball both sides, mixed in some cutters. He was pretty unpredictable today."
"Facing these guys is always tough, especially as a lefty," said Kazmir, who threw a season-high 112 pitches. "These guys have a really good approach out there. Being able to get ahead in the strike zone and get my cutter in, especially to those righties in the lineup, really helped me expand the strike zone a little bit so I could get some quick outs."