Baseball / Sports

Oakland Athletics catcher John Jaso, right, tags out the New York Yankees' Kelly Johnson at home in the fifth inning at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Saturday, June 14, 2014. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group/MCT)

Kazmir, A's down Yankees, 5-1

OAKLAND, Calif.--Not even a delay caused by a bank of left-field lights going dark Saturday night at O.co Coliseum could derail Scott Kazmir.

The Oakland A's handed the left-hander a two-year, $22 million contract after he revived his career last season with Cleveland, and Kazmir has done nothing to taint the deal.

He allowed one unearned run and three hits in six innings Saturday as the A's defeated the New York Yankees 5-1 before a sellout crowd of 36,067.

"He's been consistent all year for us," manager Bob Melvin said before the game. "You've got a couple of games where he gave up some runs and took a couple of losses. But I think he's been as consistent as you can be to this point. We always have a good feeling when he takes the mound."

Nobody took the mound for 38 minutes in the middle of the fourth inning because of the light failure that started at 8:19 p.m.

The A's led 2-1 at the time.

The lights went back on at 8:51 p.m., and play resumed six minutes later.

Kazmir, who warmed up during the delay, allowed a double to lead off the fifth but got out of the inning with the lead in place.

In his previous 31 starts before Saturday, Kazmir had allowed no more than one run in 15 of them. He entered Saturday's game ranked among the American League leaders in ERA, opponents' batting average and opponents' on-base percentage.

"Just looking at some of the numbers the last couple of years, the consistency has been incredible," Melvin said. "He's been one of the better pitchers in the American League and has really done it almost every time out.

"That's probably the biggest surprise for me is how consistent he's been. For me, the fact that he is truly a four-pitch pitcher now from a guy that has really tweaked the way he was earlier in his career, when he was strictly a power pitcher."

--Second baseman Eric Sogard returned to the lineup after tweaking an ankle fouling a ball off his foot earlier in the week.

"He could have gone yesterday," Melvin said. "But after playing the night in Anaheim when he was struggling a little bit, we tried to get him as close to 100 percent as possible. He feels a lot better today."

Sogard entered the game hitting .197 but had hit .250 in his past 16 games.

He gave the A's a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a two-out, bases-loaded single to center that drove in two.

Three innings later, Sogard fielded Derek Jeter's grounder and threw out Kelly Johnson at the plate to keep the A's in front 2-1.

Sogard led off the bottom of the fifth with a walk and then scored on John Jaso's groundout to first, stretching Oakland's lead to 3-1.

--The A's traded former top prospect Michael Taylor to the Chicago White Sox for minor league right-hander Jake Sanchez.

Taylor, 28, played in only 26 games for Oakland and was currently with Triple-A Sacramento, where the outfielder was the River Cats' franchise leader in games (511), at-bats (1,900), hits (521), and RBI (325).

Sanchez, 24, made nine starts and 15 appearances for Class A Kannapolis, going 5-4 with a 2.80 ERA and three saves.

The trade could help Taylor, Melvin said, noting that "sometimes a change of scenery invigorates a guy. You feel like you have a new life, to an extent. We wish him the best."

--Josh Reddick continued his recovery from a hyperextended right knee, going through what Melvin called a full workout that included batting practice.

But the right fielder, who is eligible to return from the disabled list Monday, might go through a minor league rehab assignment before rejoining the team.

Reddick was injured in a collision with the right-field wall at the Coliseum on May 31.

--Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira was a late scratch because of tightness in his left rib cage. The A's probably did not mind, given that Teixeira has 36 homers against them, the most against any opponent.

(c)2014 San Jose Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services

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