(Sports Network) - Veteran lefty Scott Kazmir will attempt to end a three-
decision skid against the team that drafted him on Friday night, when the
Cleveland Indians host the New York Mets in the opener of a three-game
interleague series at Progressive Field.
Now 29 years old and a veteran of 204 big league outings, Kazmir was the 15th
overall selection of the Mets in the 2002 draft and spent two seasons in their
organization before being dealt to Tampa Bay in a four-player trade in 2004.
He was with the Rays through 2009 and spent parts of three seasons with the
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim before he was signed as a free agent by the
Indians in December 2012.
He tossed five innings and allowed one unearned run in a single appearance at
Triple-A Columbus this season and was 7-4 with the Indians in the majors after
a 2-0 victory at Miami on Aug. 4 in which he allowed two hits and struck out
seven in six innings.
The struggles have largely occurred since then, with four subsequent starts
resulting in three losses and his earned run average climbing from 3.89 to
Kazmir has never faced the Mets.
The Mets start young righty Zack Wheeler, who was 12 years old when Kazmir was
The Georgia native was drafted by San Francisco and acquired by New York in a
trade for Carlos Beltran in 2011. He reached the majors earlier this season
and won four of five decisions before a 6-2 loss to Kansas City on Aug. 4.
The rest of the month yielded three more wins in four decisions, capped off by
an 11-3 victory at Washington on Aug. 31, in which Wheeler allowed two runs on
five hits in 6 2/3 innings, trimming his ERA from 3.42 to 3.36.
He's a pristine 5-0 in eight road starts with a 2.19 ERA in 49 1/3 innings.
On Wednesday in Atlanta, Andrew Brown and Lucas Duda homered to back seven
strong innings from Dillon Gee, as the Mets beat the NL East-leading Braves,
5-2, to avoid a three-game sweep.
Gee (11-9), who also had an RBI, gave up one run on four hits while striking
out five for the Mets, who snapped a three-game skid. The right-hander has won
four of his last five decisions.
"My main goals coming out of spring training this year were to get to 200
innings and take the ball every time it was my turn," Gee said. "I've done
that so far."
In Cleveland, Yan Gomes doubled in the go-ahead run in the fifth inning, and
the Indians upended the Baltimore Orioles, 6-4, in the finale of a series
between playoff-hopeful clubs.
Gomes and Ryan Raburn each drove in two runs for the Indians, who are even
with Baltimore at three games off in the wild card standings. The two clubs
trail Tampa Bay for the second wild card spot.
Zach McAllister allowed five hits and four runs over 4 2/3 innings in the
start for the Indians. Bryan Shaw (3-3) threw the ensuing inning to get the
win, and Chris Perez retired the side in order in the ninth for his 22nd save.
The Mets enter the weekend with a 7-2 lead in the all-time series between
the teams, including a three-game sweep in Cleveland the last time the teams
played in 2010.
The Sports Network