Oakland, CA (SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Kazmir continued his torrid start to the season, striking out eight and helping the Oakland Athletics continue their home dominance with a 4-2 win over the Boston Red Sox in the opener of a four-game set on Thursday.
Kazmir (9-2) went seven innings, allowing both Boston runs on four hits to earn his fourth consecutive victory. His 2.05 ERA trails just Yankees rookie Masahiro Tanaka for tops in the American League.
"(Kazmir) has done a very good job for us all year," said A's third baseman Josh Donaldson. "He throws strikes."
The 30-year-old lefty, who was out of baseball in 2012 before spending last season with the Indians with mixed results, is on pace to shatter his career best win total of 13 games, which he achieved with Tampa Bay in 2007.
Yoenis Cespedes cranked his 14th home run of the season for Oakland, winners in 16-of-21 at home. The A's have also owned Boston at O.co Coliseum, winning nine of the last 10 and outscoring the Red Sox, 57-18, during that stretch.
Dustin Pedroia had a two-run homer for Boston, which was coming off a three- game home sweep of the Twins.
Boston starter Jake Peavy (1-5), who hasn't won since April 25, surrendered four runs -- three earned -- on five hits in 6 1/3 innings of work.
"I thought Jake battled," said Boston manager John Farrell. "He kept multiple runs off the board in a number of innings."
Oakland built an early lead, plating a run in the second, third and fourth innings.
Stephen Vogt made it 1-0 in the second when he grounded out to second, allowing Jed Lowrie to cross the plate. Lowrie stood on third following Xander Bogaerts' error earlier in the frame.
Cespedes' solo blast to left-center an inning later made it 2-0 and Vogt padded the lead in his next at-bat, stroking an RBI single to center two batters after Lowrie doubled.
Cespedes nearly made a terrific catch to rob Pedroia of his fourth homer of the season, but the ball was inches past his outstretched glove and fell into the stands in left to cut the margin to 3-2.
A pair of walks issued by Boston pitchers in the seventh led to John Jaso's RBI single to center.
Luke Gregerson pitched a clean eighth inning and Dan Otero worked the ninth for his first save of the season.
Otero recorded a pair of outs around Pedroia's double to left and was given a scare when A.J. Pierzynski put a drive into a two-out offering to center. A's center fielder Coco Crisp backtracked and made a jumping catch at the warning track, ending the game.