Kazmir sharp in final spring start, A’s beat Giants 8-2
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Scott Kazmir ended his spring looking just as crisp as when he started. Now the Oakland left-hander is focused on an encore to the best season of his major league career.
A 15-game winner last year, Kazmir allowed one run over six innings in his final exhibition start to help the Athletics beat the San Francisco Giants 8-2 on Thursday night.
Kazmir gave up four hits and ran his scoreless streak to 12 1-3 innings before Angel Pagan’s homer leading off the fourth. He didn’t have a strikeout or walk, and finished the spring with a 1.00 ERA.
“This spring I felt like out of the gates I had a good feel for everything,” Kazmir said. “All my pitches are working, my arm feels great, the body feels great. That’s all you can ask.”
Billy Butler and Marcus Semien homered for Oakland. Sam Fuld, Brett Lawrie and Billy Burns added two hits apiece.
The A’s, who have the best record in the majors this spring at 22-9, extended their winning streak to eight games.
Kazmir needed only 79 pitches to complete his outing, though he didn’t think he was as sharp as he has been previously.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin saw it otherwise.
“I don’t know how he gets much better than that,” Melvin said. “When you look up there and see his (strike-ball) ratio is 23-5 in his first 28 pitches, you know he’s on it.”
Semien homered in the second and then walked and scored in the fourth when the A’s scored four times off starter Jake Peavy.
Butler homered off Santiago Casilla in the ninth.
The A’s scored three times against Peavy in the second. Lawrie tripled and scored on Stephen Vogt’s sacrifice fly before Semien’s third homer of the spring. Fuld followed with a triple to center that Pagan bobbled, allowing Fuld to score on the error.
“He was off again tonight,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said about Peavy. “He wasn’t quite hitting his spots. His stuff was little down tonight, which happens in spring.”
After Peavy issued back-to-back walks to open the fourth, Burns hit an RBI double and Craig Gentry had a one-out single that drove in Semien to make it 5-0. Ben Zobrist added a sacrifice fly, and Butler’s RBI single pushed the lead to 7-0.
Peavy fell to 1-4 this spring. He allowed seven hits and seven runs — six earned — over 3 1-3 innings.
“I had a great spring last year and went 1-9 to start the season,” Peavy said. “So maybe we’re trying the opposite this year.”
Pagan’s homer off Kazmir cut the A’s lead to 7-1. It was the center fielder’s first extra-base hit of the exhibition season.
Brandon Belt hit his fourth home run for San Francisco in the ninth.
Two weeks after choosing Sonny Gray as his opening-day starter, Melvin finalized the rest of his rotation. Right-hander Jesse Hahn will follow Gray and will be joined by Kazmir, right-hander Kendall Graveman and lefty Drew Pomeranz.
Jesse Chavez had been in the running for the fifth starter’s spot, but Melvin said Chavez’s versatility as a long and short reliever made him more valuable in the bullpen.
Athletics: With LF Coco Crisp headed for elbow surgery and the disabled list, the search is on to find a replacement. Melvin hinted that Ben Zobrist — whom the team traded for in the offseason to help the infield — will get time out there. Zobrist has 29 career starts in left.
Giants: Bochy said the team is still uncertain whether to place Travis Ishikawa (back) on the disabled list to start the season. ... Pagan might open the season on the DL to get extra at-bats.
Athletics: Graveman will make his final start of the spring Friday night against the Giants.
Giants: RHP Matt Cain, who has an 8.22 ERA this spring, faces Oakland in his final exhibition start.