Left-hander Scott Kazmir, facing his former team on Wednesday while making his rain-delayed debut for the Oakland Athletics, scattered three hits and struck out five in 7.1 innings. The bats got going, too, in a 6-1 win over the Cleveland Indians at O.co Coliseum.
The game was originally scheduled for Tuesday night, but was washed out in Oakland’s first rainout since 1998.
Kazmir (1-0) was signed as a free agent this winter after spending 2013 with the Indians (1-1) and he was dazzling. He allowed only singles to Michael Brantley in the second and Jason Kipnis in the fourth before he was chased by Mike Aviles’ double in the eighth.
The A’s (1-1), meanwhile, got the offense rolling a couple of days late after they were shut out on opening night, taking a lead in the first inning when Coco Crisp led off with a single, stole second, moved to third on Jed Lowrie’s fly out and scored when Yoenis Cespedes grounded a single through the right side.
That would be all Kazmir would need.
But Oakland struck for two more in the second off Indians starter Corey Kluber (0-1). The A’s loaded the bases with no outs on singles by Alberto Callaspo and Derek Norris and a walk to Eric Sogard. Crisp got the run home with a fly ball to right. Josh Donaldson hit a grounder to third and Norris tried to score, but third baseman Carlos Santana got the ball to catcher Yan Gomes and Norris was called out.
A’s manager Bob Melvin challenged the call—his first challenge of the season—but the call was upheld, leaving two outs and runners at first and second. Lowrie lined a single to left to score Sogard and Oakland was up 3-0.
Callaspo hit the A’s first homer of the season after Josh Reddick walked with one out in the fourth to put Oakland up 5-0 and after Norris lined a single up the middle, that was all for Kluber, who surrendered five runs on eight hits with three walks, fanning two.
Cleveland a run in the ninth off reliever Dan Otero on a Kipnis double and a Santana single.
Otero allowed a run on two hits in 1.2 innings.
The A’s pounded out 12 hits, three of them by Norris—getting a rare start behind the plate against a right-hander—and two each for Lowrie, Moss, Cespedes and Callaspo.
The teams return to the field at 6 p.m. for the second game of the twinbill, with right-hander Josh Lindblom (0-0) called up from Triple-A Sacramento to start the for the A’s against right-hander Zach McAllister (0-0).