Kazmir will make his final tuneup for the playoffs Saturday when the Angels try to hand the Oakland Athletics a season-high sixth straight loss.
Los Angeles (95-65) strengthened its rotation by obtaining Kazmir (9-9, 5.06 ERA) from Tampa Bay on Aug. 28. He’s excelled with his new team, going 1-2 with a 2.01 ERA in five starts, although he’s been plagued by poor support with a total of eight runs.
Kazmir hasn’t pitched since Sept. 23 against the Yankees when he gave up three runs over six innings in a 3-2 loss. He was scratched from Tuesday’s outing against Texas to gain extra rest since the Angels clinched the AL West title the day before.
It appears the left-hander will start Game 3 of a division series against Boston. He started twice against the Red Sox in the AL Championship Series last year, going 0-0 with a 4.35 ERA as the Rays reached their first World Series.
“It’s great being part of this staff,” Kazmir told the Angels’ official Web site, “with a chance to get back to the World Series.”
Kazmir will likely be on a pitch count Saturday, and is 7-3 with a 3.16 ERA in 13 career starts against Oakland.
Bobby Abreu(notes) stole his 30th base in the eighth, joining the late Bobby Bonds as the only players in Angels’ history with at least 100 RBIs and 30 steals in the same season. Bonds had 115 RBIs and 41 steals in 1977.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia used his regular lineup Friday but liberally replaced players throughout the night. Mike Napoli(notes) caught the entire game, and Jeff Mathis(notes) or Bobby Wilson(notes) is expected to start behind the plate Saturday.
Oakland will finish last in the AL West for the first time since 1998. The A’s are trying to avoid losing six in a row for the first time since a 10-game slide July 28-Aug. 7.
A’s starter Dana Eveland(notes) (2-3, 7.09) tries to end his 2009 season on a high note. Eveland went 9-9 with a 4.34 ERA in 2008 in his first full season with Oakland, but was sent to the minors twice this year due to his struggles.
The left-hander is 0-2 with a 6.66 ERA in five career starts against the Angels, although the A’s have won both outings this year. He gave up a season-high eight runs over 3 1-3 innings last Saturday in a 15-10 victory in Anaheim.