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Thursday’s Red Sox-Athletics matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Scott Kazmir

06.19.14 at 8:42 am ET
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The Red Sox begin a 10-game road trip Thursday in Oakland when they send Jake Peavy to the mound against Scott Kazmir.

After compiling a 6.69 ERA in his previous six starts, Peavy (1-4, 4.53 ERA) turned things around with a strong outing against the Indians on Saturday, but he still couldn’t break his winless streak. The right-hander allowed just one run in six innings but took a no-decision in a 3-2 Red Sox loss. Peavy scattered seven hits, issued two walks and struck out five.

Peavy hasn’t won a decision since April 25, and the Sox haven’€™t won a game he’€™s started since May 29. But while he was frustrated with Saturday’s outcome, he said he feels like he’€™s moving in the right direction.

“I’m starting to feel a whole lot better on the mound,” Peavy said on Middays with MFB on Wednesday. “I struggled through some — not injury by any means, just not feeling so well, and you’€™€™re trying to get the body to feel a little bit better to have a little bit more in the tank and be able to do a little bit more with the baseball.

“I feel a whole lot better. My last start I felt about as good as I have a month. I was able to compete and grind through and make some big pitches when I need to. Previous to that, it was a rough month. Just couldn’t get the ball to bounce our way, really as a team and obviously on my fifth day.’€

Peavy’s bid to pitch well consistently will get more difficult Thursday night when he goes against an Athletics team with the best record in the American League. Peavy hasn’t faced the A’€™s since April 23, 2012, when he tossed a complete-game shutout in Oakland. It was one of just two career starts against the A’s for Peavy.

Kazmir (8-2, 2.05 ERA) might be more recognizable in Boston as the young lefty who often gave the Red Sox fits in his six years with the Rays. Now on his fourth team in his first season with the Athletics, the 30-year-old is having the best season of his nine-year career.

Kazmir has been Oakland’€™s best starting pitcher this season, leading all starters in wins, ERA and WHIP (0.98), and has allowed three runs or fewer in all but one outing this season. He’€™s been particularly strong as of late. He hasn’t lost a decision since May 23, posting a 3-0 mark with a 0.95 ERA in his four starts since.

Kazmir’s start Saturday was his second without an earned run in as many games. He gave up one unearned run on three hits, three walks and two strikeouts over six innings to lead the A’s to a 5-1 win over the Yankees. He showed no lingering affects following a 38-minute delay in the third inning due to an issue with the light bulbs in left field.

“I’ve had the privilege of having some long innings this year, so I’ve had a little bit of practice,” Kazmir said after the game. “Wasn’t too much of a problem.”

Kazmir’s last start against the Red Sox came on May 25, 2013, when he took a no-decision over five innings as a member of the Indians. He gave up two runs on five hits with four walks and six strikeouts in a 7-4 Cleveland loss. Kazmir is 8-8 with a 4.04 ERA in 26 career starts against the Sox, the most starts he has against any major league opponent.

Red Sox vs. Kazmir (LHP)

David Ortiz (56 plate appearances): .208 AVG/.321 OBP/.354 SLG, 2 HR, 1 double, 8 RBIs, 8 walks, 12 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (45): .514/.614/.800, 1 HR, 1 triple, 5 doubles, 3 RBIs, 9 walks, 2 strikeouts

Grady Sizemore (13): .182/.308/.455, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

A.J. Pierzynski (12): .250/.250/.250, 2 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (8): .143/.250/.143, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (3): .000/.000/.000, 1 strikeout

Daniel Nava (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

David Ross has two strikeouts in two career plate appearances.

Athletics vs. Peavy (RHP)

Alberto Callaspo (24 plate appearances): .261 AVG/.292 OBP/.348 SLG, 2 doubles, 5 RBIs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Coco Crisp (13): .200/.308/.200, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

John Jaso (9): .125/.222/.125, 1 walk

Nick Punto (5): .000/.000/.000, 2 strikeouts

Yoenis Cespedes (4): .250/.250/.500, 1 double, 1 strikeout

Jeff Francis (4): .000/.000/.000, 4 strikeouts

Brandon Moss (3): .333/.333/.333, 1 strikeout

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