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Kazmir faces old mates in Oakland
(SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Kazmir resurrected his career with the Cleveland Indians. Now he'll try to beat them on Tuesday when the Oakland Athletics play the middle test of a three-game series versus the Tribe at O.co Coliseum.
After making just one start the previous two seasons Kazmir returned to the league with the Indians in 2013 and went 10-9 with a 4.04 ERA over 29 starts. He also struck out 162 batters over 158 innings, earning himself a 2-year, $32 million deal with the A's.
"I know they're going to try to mess with me while I'm up on the mound, try to take away from my focus," Kazmir said. "But I'll just be locked in. I can't even stare at them because they're a bunch of jokesters over there."
Kazmir has been tremendous this spring, pitching to a 1.62 ERA in four starts.
Cleveland handed Oakland its major league-record 10th straight opening-day loss Monday, as the Indians scored twice in the ninth inning to grab a 2-0 win.
Nick Swisher provided an RBI single following Nyjer Morgan's sac fly, while Asdrubal Cabrera and David Murphy scored the runs for the Indians, who were coming off their first postseason appearance since 2007.
Justin Masterson was solid in his third straight Opening Day start as he gave up just three hits and a walk with four strikeouts over seven innings for Cleveland. Cody Allen (1-0), though, retired the final two batters of the eighth to pick up the win.
John Axford struck out two and walked two in the ninth inning, but worked out of trouble to collect his first save since Oct 2, 2012. Axford went 0-for-7 in save opportunities during the 2013 season.
Sonny Gray had a strong start for Oakland as well, going six innings and giving up five hits and three walks with seven strikeouts. However, new closer Jim Johnson (0-1) was tagged for both runs in the ninth to take the loss.
"I sucked today, I'll admit it," Johnson said.
Josh Donaldson had two of the five hits in the loss for the Athletics.
Getting the call for Cleveland on Tuesday will be righty Corey Kluber, who 11-5 last season for the Indians with a 3.85 ERA in 26 games (24 starts). Over his last 10 starts, though, he went 5-0 with a 3.30 ERA.
Cleveland was 5-2 versus the A's last season.
04/01 10:31:09 ET