Oakland A’s top Red Sox behind Scott Kazmir’s strong start

By Ian Sacks,

Oakland A’s starter Scott Kazmir has been terrific for the team as of late. In his last five starts, he is 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA.

The A’s topped the Boston Red Sox 4-2 on Thursday night, in Kazmir’s most recent outing. He improved to 9-2 this season as he went seven innings, giving up two runs on four hits and fanning eight. His 2.08 ERA is good for second best in the American League among qualifiers, reports The Associated Press.

“It’s a broken record talking about him because we’re seeing basically the same game out of him,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said in his postgame press conference on MLB.com. “I can’t say enough about what he’s done. Not only his performance, but he’s been a clubhouse leader. He’s a veteran presence for some of the younger pitchers. He’s been absolutely terrific.”

Oakland got on the scoreboard first with an RBI groundout by right fielder Stephen Vogt in the bottom of the second inning. In the third, left fielder Yoenis Cespedes smacked his 14th homer of the year to give the A’s a 2-0 lead. Vogt struck again in the fourth with an RBI single to center.

Second baseman Dustin Pedroia pulled the Red Sox within one with a two-run home run in the sixth inning. The A’s added an insurance run in the seventh when designated hitter John Jaso singled to center.

Boston starter Jake Peavy labored through 6 1/3 innings, yielding four runs on five hits. He falls to 1-5 on the season and has not won a game since April 25, according to his statistics on ESPN.com.

The two teams continue this four-game series on Friday night as the A’s look to expand their six-game lead in the AL West and the Red Sox try to claw their way up the standings in the AL East.

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