Kazmir eyes another strong showing in Minnesota

(SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Kazmir attempts to pitch the Oakland Athletics to a second straight win on Wednesday night when his club resumes a four-game series with the Minnesota Twins.

Kazmir is 7-4 lifetime versus the Twins with a 3.42 earned run average through 13 starts.

The left-hander has not factored into the outcome of his past three starts after opening the with victories in his first two outings. He has a quality start in all five outings, however, and has not allowed more than three runs in a game this season.

Kazmir, who is pitching to an excellent 1.62 ERA on the year, yielded three runs on six hits and a walk over six frames of Friday's 7-5 Oakland win over Texas. He struck out six, but allowed a pair of homers after giving up just one over his previous four starts.

"(Kazmir) kept us in the game like he always does," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "And we were able to reward him by not getting the loss."

Kyle Gibson looks to build off an excellent showing from last Friday when he faces the Athletics tonight.

Gibson improved to 2-2 with a 3.56 ERA thanks to a 1-0 win over the Chicago White Sox. With no room for error, the righty hurled eight scoreless innings of four-hit ball, walking one and striking out four.

"When I get out there I just try to execute," Gibson said. "When I do that, I'm confident."

Gibson, 27, will face Oakland for the second time in his career and allowed five earned runs over five innings in losing the first encounter. He struggled with his command in issuing five walks along with five hits.

Oakland evened up this series with a tight 2-1 victory on Tuesday night. Jesse Chavez hurled 7 1/3 innings and gave up just one unearned run while striking out seven. Tyler Clippard fired a scoreless ninth to notch his third save and help the A's rebound from an 8-7 loss in Monday's opener.

Billy Butler had an RBI single in the first inning and Brett Lawrie chased home a run with his own base hit in the sixth for Oakland.

Trevor May surrendered two runs on five hits and two walks over 5 2/3 frames for the Twins, who had a five-game winning streak snapped.

Minnesota didn't put a runner into scoring position until the seventh and finally cracked the scoreboard one inning later on Brian Dozier's one-out RBI single. The hit came one batter after an throwing error by Oakland's Ike Davis.

Oakland could get Coco Crisp back into the lineup as early as tonight. He has yet to play this season due to right elbow surgery and recently completed a two-game rehab stint with Class-A Advanced Stockton.

Oakland has won 13 of 15 and 18 of its last 22 against the Twins.