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Boston at Oakland

Scoreboard
Boston (34-39)000002000251
Oakland (45-28) «01110010x480

Kazmir, Cespedes push Athletics past Red Sox

CBSSports.com wire reports
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OAKLAND, Calif. -- Athletics manager Bob Melvin is already starting to run out of superlatives to describe Scott Kazmir.

The left-hander has been so effective in his first season with Oakland that Melvin might need to break out a thesaurus when talking about the veteran pitcher.

Kazmir pitched seven innings to win his fourth consecutive start, Yoenis Cespedes hit his 14th home run and the Athletics beat the Boston Red Sox 4-2 on Thursday night.

"It's a broken record talking about him because we're seeing basically the same game out of him," Melvin said. "I had heard last year maybe this is a 100-pitch guy top, six innings maybe. He's been anything but. He's been absolutely terrific."

Kazmir (9-2) went into the game with the second-lowest ERA among qualifiers in the AL and extended his streak to 18 1/3 innings without allowing an earned run before Dustin Pedroia hit a two-run home run in the sixth. He struck out eight and didn't walk a batter.

Over his past five starts, Oakland's right-hander is 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA.

"Probably one of the best [games] I felt this year, for sure," said Kazmir, who has allowed two runs or fewer in each of his past five starts.

"I was able to get ahead most of the time with my fastball and expand the strike zone with my breaking balls and my changeup. Didn't really use too many breaking balls. Just relied mainly on fastball location."

Stephen Vogt had two hits and two RBI, Jed Lowrie scored twice and John Jaso singled in an insurance run in the seventh to move the A's a season-high 17 games over .500. It's the best record in the majors and continued Oakland's best start since 1990.

Cespedes had not hit a home run against the Red Sox until his two-out, solo shot off Jake Peavy in the third.

Boston had played five consecutive one-run games heading into the series opener with Oakland. This one was tight as well.

The A's led 3-0 after Vogt's single scored Lowrie in the fourth.

Kazmir, who hasn't lost since May 23, took a shutout into the sixth that Pedroia ended with a two-out home run.

It was the only mistake Kazmir made.

"We faced a tough pitcher," Pedroia said. "To be honest, our at bats weren't that bad. We have to find a way to have a big inning and get some momentum."

Luke Gregerson pitched the eighth and Dan Otero worked the ninth for his first career save.

Peavy (1-5) had a second successive strong outing but remained winless during his past 10 starts. Peavy allowed five hits over 6 1/3 innings, retired eight of the final nine batters he faced and struck out four with three walks.

It wasn't enough to prevent the Red Sox from ending their three-game winning streak.

Vogt hit an RBI groundout off Peavy in the second and singled in another run in the fourth. Lowrie, who walked and doubled, scored both times.

Cespedes hit his home run with two outs in the third. The Cuban slugger is batting .343 with four home runs and 12 RBI through 17 games in June.

Cespedes has driven in 49 runs already this season and could soon join teammates Brandon Moss (55) and Josh Donaldson (52) in the 50-RBI club.

"When you look at the runs that we've put up this year, a lot of it has to do with those guys in the middle of the order," Melvin said. "It's pretty amazing."

Notes

Otero was in the closer's role because Sean Doolittle had pitched in the previous two games. ... Cespedes has now hit a home run against every team in the AL except Tampa Bay. ... RHP Clay Buchholz (hyperextended knee) pitched six scoreless innings during his second rehab start for Triple-A Pawtucket. ... LHP Brad Mills starts Friday in his Oakland debut. Mills was acquired in a trade from Milwaukee earlier this week. LHP Felix Doubront (2-4) pitches for Boston.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Scott Kazmir wins his fourth straight start and improves his record to a stellar 9-2.  (USATSI)
Scott Kazmir wins his fourth straight start and improves his record to a stellar 9-2. (USATSI)

Players of the Game
Oakland

S. Kazmir
IP 7.0
H 4
ER 2
BB 0
K 8
Boston

D. Pedroia
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 
Boston Red Sox
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Brock Holt, RF-CF4110011 .327
Xander Bogaerts, 3B4000012 .269
Dustin Pedroia, 2B4122010 .266
Mike Napoli, 1B4000031 .263
A.J. Pierzynski, DH-C4010001 .267
Jonny Gomes, LF3000021 .230
Stephen Drew, SS3000001 .200
David Ross, C2000000 .159
   a-Daniel Nava, PH-RF1000010 .202
Jackie Bradley Jr., CF2010000 .205
   b-David Ortiz, PH1000010 .245
   Edward Mujica, P0000000 .000
Jake Peavy, P0000000 .000
   Chris Capuano, P0000000 .000
Totals32252010  
a-struck out for Ross in the 8th
b-struck out for Bradley in the 8th
Batting
2B - Dustin Pedroia (23, Otero), Jackie Bradley Jr. (13, Kazmir)
HR - Dustin Pedroia (4, Kazmir)
RBI - Dustin Pedroia 2 (27)
2-OUT RBI - Dustin Pedroia 2 (8)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jackie Bradley Jr. 1
DP - Drew, Drew-Drew-Pedroia-Napoli
E - Xander Bogaerts (9, Throwing)
Boston Red Sox
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Jake Peavy (L,1-5) 6.1543341 4.52
Chris Capuano 0.2100100 3.38
Edward Mujica 1200010 5.81
WP - Jake Peavy (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Jake Peavy 117-69, Chris Capuano 11-5, Edward Mujica 15-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Jake Peavy 9-5, Chris Capuano 1-0, Edward Mujica 1-0
Batters Faced - Jake Peavy 26, Chris Capuano 3, Edward Mujica 4
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF3010100 .283
John Jaso, DH3011110 .272
Yoenis Cespedes, LF4121002 .266
Brandon Moss, 1B4010012 .263
Josh Donaldson, 3B4010001 .254
Jed Lowrie, SS3210121 .223
Derek Norris, C3000011 .307
Stephen Vogt, RF2012100 .341
   Craig Gentry, PR-RF0000000 .285
Alberto Callaspo, 2B3000003 .242
   Eric Sogard, PR-2B0100000 .199
Scott Kazmir, P0000000 .000
   Luke Gregerson, P0000000 .000
   Dan Otero, P0000000 .000
Totals2948445  
Batting
2B - Jed Lowrie (18, Peavy)
HR - Yoenis Cespedes (14, Peavy)
RBI - John Jaso (23), Yoenis Cespedes (49), Stephen Vogt 2 (10)
2-OUT RBI - John Jaso (6), Yoenis Cespedes (15), Stephen Vogt (4)
SB - Coco Crisp (13, 2nd base off Peavy/Ross)
Team LOB - 5
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Scott Kazmir (W,9-2) 7422081 2.08
Luke Gregerson (H,11) 1000020 1.86
Dan Otero (S,1) 1100000 2.25
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Kazmir 111-75, Luke Gregerson 14-8, Dan Otero 9-6
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Kazmir 8-5, Luke Gregerson 1-0, Dan Otero 1-2
Batters Faced - Scott Kazmir 25, Luke Gregerson 3, Dan Otero 4
Game Information
Attendance - 24371
Game Time - 2:39
Temperature - 59
Umpires - Home - Phil Cuzzi, First Base - Gerry Davis, Second Base - Quinn Wolcott, Third Base - Greg Gibson