Red Sox-Athletics Preview

The Associated Press

It remains to be seen if the Boston Red Sox have built enough momentum from a successful homestand to cool off Scott Kazmir and halt their struggles in Oakland.

Looking to win his fourth consecutive home start, Kazmir and the Athletics try to keep the Red Sox from a fourth straight victory Thursday night.

Mike Napoli and David Ortiz hit consecutive homers with one out in the 10th inning Wednesday to help Boston (34-38) complete a three-game sweep of Minnesota with a 2-1 victory. Though the Red Sox have scored two runs four times and one in the other game in their last five contests, they held the Twins to two total and finished 5-2 on the home stretch.

"For our two big guys to hit a couple dingers late like that could give us some momentum heading into the road trip," John Lackey told the Red Sox's official website.

A 10-game trip begins at Oakland (44-28), where Boston's batted .196 with three home runs and been outscored 53-16 while losing eight of nine. The Red Sox are 5-18 at the Coliseum since sweeping a two-game set April 1-2, 2008.

The major league-best A's won for the 15th time in 20 home games Wednesday, 4-2 over Texas.

"There's a lot of baseball yet to be played," manager Bob Melvin said. "At least for the time being it feels good.''

Batting .174 with five homers and 18 RBIs during a 33-game stretch in which he's recorded one multi-hit contest, Ortiz went 1 for 12 at Oakland in 2013. Including the postseason, he's hit .182 with two home runs versus Kazmir (8-2, 2.05 ERA).

The left-hander is 4-1 with a 1.44 ERA in his last seven starts and did not allow an earned run in 13 innings of the last two. He yielded an unearned run in six innings of a 5-1 victory over the New York Yankees at home Saturday. Kazmir has allowed two runs - one earned - over 22 innings while winning three straight at the Coliseum.

"Stuff-wise, consistency, yeah, I would say this is the best I've felt," he told MLB's official website.

Kazmir made his first start against the Red Sox since 2010 last season, giving up two runs and four walks in five innings while not factoring in the decision of a 7-4 loss with Cleveland.

Dustin Pedroia is batting .514 (18 for 35) with five doubles, a triple and a home run during the regular season against Kazmir. He's hit .366 in his last 21 games against the A's, who will try for a third straight victory while facing Jake Peavy (1-4, 4.53) for the first time since 2012.

Pitching for the Chicago White Sox that season, Peavy tossed a three-hitter during a 4-0 win at Oakland to improve to 1-0 with a 1.80 ERA in two starts against the A's.

Though the right-hander is 0-4 with a 5.46 ERA in nine starts since winning at Toronto on April 25, he allowed a run in six innings while not factoring in the decision of a 3-2 loss to Cleveland on Saturday.

"At this point in my career, I don't really have any personal thoughts. I either win or lose on my day," Peavy said. "It's just been one of those years."

Former Boston outfielder Coco Crisp is batting .364 with 11 RBIs in his last 17 home games, but is 2 for 10 versus Peavy.

Teammate Josh Donaldson, who has never faced Peavy, is 5 for 15 in four games since going 0 for 29 in his previous seven.

What to Read Next