Kazmir tries to reach 12 wins in opener with Astros
(SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Kazmir takes aim at win No. 12 on Tuesday when the Oakland Athletics open a three-game series with the Houston Astros at O.co Coliseum.
Kazmir has been tremendous for the American League West-leading A's, going 11-3 with a 2.38 ERA. He's been particularly on point of late, surrendering two or fewer runs in 10 of his last 12 outings.
"He gives up zero, one or two runs and gets you deep in the game," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "He's been as consistent as anybody in the league - both leagues."
Kazmir hasn't pitched since holding the San Francisco Giants scoreless over seven innings back on July 10. He also threw two-thirds of an inning at the All-Star Game without giving up a run.
In five starts versus Houston Kazmir is 2-1 with a 3.60 ERA.
Oakland won for the third time in four tries on Sunday, as Sonny Gray pitched 6 2/3 innings of two-run ball and the bats exploded in a 10-2 rout of the Baltimore Orioles.
Gray (11-3) allowed just one earned run on two hits and struck out eight in his fourth straight win.
"He's one of the best pitchers in the American League right now," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said of Gray.
Houston, meanwhile, snapped a three-game losing streak on Sunday, as Matt Dominguez homered, drove in four runs and sparked the four-run seventh inning that helped the Astros to an 11-7 win over the Chicago White Sox.
Dominguez finished a triple shy of the cycle and scored twice for Houston, while Jose Altuve homered and drove in a pair.
All nine Astros starters had at least one hit and six players had at least two.
One Astro who didn't get in on the fun was rookie outfielder George Springer, who was scratched from the lineup with soreness in his quad and knee. Springer, who leads the team with 20 home runs, is hoping to return at some point in this series.
"Obviously he wants to play and we would love to have him in the lineup, but at the same time, sometimes you have to protect them from themselves," Houston manager Bo Porter said. "This is one of those situations where, from a medical standpoint and my standpoint, we want to protect him from himself."
Getting the call for the Astros on Tuesday will be lefty Brett Oberholtzer, who is 2-7 with a 4.50 ERA. Oberholtzer did not get a decision his last time out on July 12 against Boston, as he allowed a pair of runs and 11 hits in 6 1/3 innings of his team's 3-2 win.
Oberholtzer has faced the A's three times and is 0-2 against them with a 4.70 ERA.
Oakland has won five of its seven matchups with the Astros this season.
07/22 10:41:37 ET