Eight days of rest didn’t do Scott Kazmir much good in his last
The Cleveland Indians hope he’s better with six days in between
starts as they continue their playoff push against the visiting
Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
Chasing their first postseason berth since 2007, the Indians
(70-59) trail Oakland by 2 1/2 games for the AL’s second wild-card
“If you get caught up scoreboard watching, it can’t really help
you out too much,” second baseman Jason Kipnis said.
Kazmir (7-6, 4.39 ERA), who pitched 64 innings for the
independent Sugar Land Skeeters last year, was granted the extra
rest after allowing five runs in three innings against the Los
Angeles Angels on Aug. 9.
The left-hander then surrendered five runs and a season-high 10
hits in five innings of a 7-3 loss to Oakland last Sunday.
“He’s fine. The layoff is good for his arm,” manager Terry
Francona said. “He didn’t command very well. A lot of deep
Kazmir has given up seven first-inning runs in his past two
starts. Before his two rough outings, Kazmir was 4-0 with a 1.93
ERA in his previous nine starts.
Two of his three outings against the Twins in 2013 came in that
excellent stretch. Overall, Kazmir has a 1.42 ERA in three starts
versus Minnesota (57-71) this season.
The Twins are hitting .179 off Kazmir in 2013, with Justin
Morneau (0 for 9), Ryan Doumit (0 for 7), Brian Dozier (1 for 9)
and Josh Willingham (1 for 6) especially struggling.
Kazmir will be opposed by a fellow former New York Mets
first-round pick, Mike Pelfrey (5-10, 5.19), who has a 2.31 ERA in
two starts against the Indians this season.
The right-hander will look to record a third consecutive quality
start for the first time since June 8-18, 2011. He surrendered
three runs in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-3 victory over Detroit on
Through the end of May, Pelfrey had a 6.66 ERA and had lasted
six innings in just two of his 11 starts. Since then, he has a 4.11
ERA, lasting six-plus innings in 8 of 12 starts.
The Indians picked up their second win in nine tries at
Progressive Field on Saturday after winning 11 straight home games
from July 11 through Aug. 1. Kipnis and Carlos Santana hit two-run
homers and Cleveland had five extra-base hits in its 7-2
“We needed a nice little offensive day like this,” said Kipnis,
who broke out of an 0-for-19 slump and is now hitting .426 with
four homers and 20 RBIs in 14 games against Minnesota this
Nick Swisher had a two-run double on Saturday, just his fifth
hit in 47 at-bats (.106) this season against Minnesota.
The Twins’ bullpen will be short-handed as manager Ron
Gardenhire said Anthony Swarzak and Brian Duensing are unavailable
following multi-inning outings on Friday and Saturday.