Scott Kazmir made his Oakland Athletics spring debut, firing three shutout innings, and Jesse Chavez pitched four innings of one-hit relief as the A’s blanked the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-0 Friday in Cactus League action at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The problem for the A’s was that Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley was almost as good. But Oakland (6-3) finally got to Miley with the help of some shoddy defense behind him in the fifth.
Josh Reddick walked to lead off the inning and advanced to second on a groundout. After another ground ball out, Reddick stole third and later scored when Diamondbacks shortstop Didi Gregorius couldn’t come up with Stephen Vogt’s grounder.
The A’s added an insurance tally in the eighth. Jake Elmore greeted reliever David Hernandez by lining a single to left and moved up when Vogt walked. Billy Burns loaded the bases with a bunt single and after a flyout, Daric Barton lined a single to right to make it a 2-0 game.
Oakland’s defense turned two double plays and the pitchers did the rest, holding Arizona (5-6) to just six baserunners total.
Kazmir allowed two hits and struck out two in his three innings of work, while Chavez (3-0) fanned five in his four-inning stint, running his string of scoreless innings this spring to 8.2. Joe Savery walked one and fanned two in the eighth and Fernando Nieve got the save despite allowing two hits in the ninth.
Miley, Arizona’s left-hander, allowed an unearned run on three hits and a walk in five innings, striking out four.
Burns and Elmore had two hits apiece, while the rest of the Oakland bats came up with just two more combined.
On the medical front, catcher Derek Norris was scratched from the lineup with back spasms (h/t MLB.com), with manager Bob Melvin indicating Norris will be out of action for a few days.
The A’s head to Salt River Flats on Saturday to face the Colorado Rockies at 12:10 p.m. Pacific.