Kazmir has little to show for superb start to season

Works seven shutout innings, lowers ERA to 0.99

Kazmir has little to show for superb start to season

OAKLAND -- A's lefty Scott Kazmir has just two wins to show for four dominant outings, the last resulting in a no-decision against the Astros on Friday evening despite seven scoreless innings.

That the southpaw was opposed by Houston's Dallas Keuchel -- he of a 0.62 ERA after nine shutout frames Friday -- didn't help his cause. But Kazmir's performance in the 5-4, 11-inning loss didn't go unnoticed.

Kazmir held the Astros to five hits and three walks and struck out seven, including his final batter, Luis Valbuena, who swung through a 93-mph fastball on Kazmir's 106th pitch.

"I was hoping to match [Keuchel], but I tell you what, the way we fought in those later innings, it shows you something about our team," said Kazmir. "We didn't pull out the win, which is tough, but we'll get 'em tomorrow."

Melvin on Kazmir and injuries

"It's a shame that [Kazmir] doesn't have a couple more wins," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "You know against Keuchel you're going to have to pitch like that, and he did, every bit of it.

"Every time he goes out there, we feel like we have a good chance to win, even if we're not squaring the bats well. Didn't give him enough when he was out there."

Kazmir has surrendered just three runs and struck out 30 in 27 1/3 innings over four starts for a 0.99 ERA this season, completing at least seven innings in three of those outings.

"What he's done for us his first four starts has been something special," said outfielder Josh Reddick.

Jane Lee is a reporter for MLB.com. Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.