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American League Preview from The Sports Network



Sunday, August 3 (All times Eastern)

Kansas City Royals (56-53) at Oakland Athletics (67-42), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Kansas City - James Shields (9-6, 3.50) Oakland - Scott Kazmir (12-3, 2.37)

(SportsNetwork.com) - In a duel between former teammates, Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics will face off with James Shields and the Kansas City Royals at O.co Coliseum.

Shields and Kazmir were both a part of the Tampa Bay Rays rotation from 2006-09, before Kazmir was traded to the Angels in the midst of the 2009 campaign.

Now eating up innings for Oakland, another team in the AL West, Kazmir has found the success that made him such a threat with Tampa Bay. Kazmir is 12-3 with a 2.37 ERA this season, with each of those marks having him on pace to smash his previous bests. In fact, with a win on Sunday, Kazmir would match his career high for wins in a season, which he set in 2007 as a 23-year-old.

Now 30, Kazmir has certainly reestablished himself. He only lasted five innings in his last outing, allowing two runs on five hits against Texas, but he had pitched seven innings in each of his previous three starts.

Kazmir has some familiarity with the Royals, a team he faced as a division rival last season while with the Indians. In 15 career starts against Kansas City he is 4-5 with an inflated 5.15 ERA.

Shields also left Tampa Bay via trade, one that brought 2013 Rookie of the Year Wil Myers to the Rays.

The 32-year-old right-hander has been effective for the Royals and he has also been a workhorse. He has a 3.29 ERA over the last two seasons and last year was tied for the AL lead in innings pitched (228 2/3).

This season he is currently sitting with a 9-6 record and a 3.50 ERA, while his 23 starts are tied for the most in baseball.

Unfortunately, Shields has lost three of his last four decisions, including his last start when the Royals fell 2-1 to Minnesota. Shields pitched fairly well in the game, allowing two runs, one earned, over six innings. However, he did tie a season high with four walks.

Shields owns a 5-4 all-time record against Oakland in 13 total starts. He also has a 3.91 ERA, but he is 2-3 with a 4.53 ERA in seven starts at O.co Coliseum.

Jon Lester made his debut in an Oakland uniform on Saturday and helped the A's earn an 8-3 victory. Lester allowed three runs on nine hits over 6 2/3 innings of work to improve to 11-7.

"I felt fine physically," Lester said. "Some times those extra days can help you or hurt you and it did a little bit of both for me today. I was a little sloppy with my cutter ... I would've liked to finish that seventh, but I got a little bit ahead of myself and I couldn't."

Johnny Gomes, who also came over from Boston on Thursday, went 2-for-4 with two RBI to help power Oakland on offense. The A's had lost three of four prior to Saturday's win, including a 1-0 setback against Kansas City on Friday.

Kansas City had won three straight before Saturday's loss, which went to Jason Vargas, who allowed seven runs in just 4 1/3 innings of work.

Oakland won five of six against the Royals a year ago.

08/03 10:36:02 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CHA 104
BOS 116
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CAR
 
Final
DET 2
ATL 4
Final
TAM 6
BAL 6
Final
PIT 18
PHI 4
Final
STL 6
WAS 2
Final
NYM 7
MIA 1
Final
CWS 1
CLE 4
Final
OAK 11
COL 2
Final
TEX 7
KAN 11
Final
SEA 5
ANA 3
Final
CIN 3
SDP 6
Final
CHC 8
SFG 5
Final
ARI 2
LOS 4
Final
HOU 4
TOR 7
Final
BOS 14
MIN 2
1:05pm Today
TAM
BOS
 
1:05pm Today
STL
MIA
 
1:05pm Today
WAS
NYM
 
1:05pm Today
MIN
NYY
 
1:05pm Today
DET
PIT
 
1:05pm Today
BAL
TAM
 
1:07pm Today
TOR
PHI
 
4:05pm Today
TEX
CHC
 
4:05pm Today
LOS
CWS
 
4:05pm Today
MIL
CIN
 
4:05pm Today
SFG
COL
 
4:05pm Today
CLE
SEA
 
4:10pm Today
ANA
OAK
 
4:10pm Today
ARI
TEX
 
6:05pm Tonight
ATL
HOU
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
KAN
 
Final
CHA 104
BOS 116
Final
PHI 111
LAL 113
Final
TOR 99
HOU 96
Final
ATL 101
MIL 88
Final
MEM 97
SAC 83
Final
MIN 84
UTA 104
Final
POR 109
PHO 86
7:30pm Tonight
DET
ATL
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
IND
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
SAN
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
GSW
 
Final
LOYC 65
LAMON 58
7:00pm Tonight
TEMPL
MIAMI
 
7:00pm Tonight
EVAN
TENNM
 
9:00pm Tonight
NARZ
YALE
 
9:00pm Tonight
ODU
STAN
 
Final
MON 3
TAM 5
Final
STL 1
VAN 4
Final
DAL 3
CAL 5
Final
CHI 4
LOS 1
Final
COL 1
EDM 4
Final
ARI 1
BUF 4
7:00pm Tonight
WAS
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
BOS
FLA
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
NJD
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
OTT
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
TAM
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
NYR
 
8:00pm Tonight
NAS
VAN