One season after he won 10 games for the Indians, Scott Kazmir will take the mound for the A's at Progressive Field as Cleveland hosts Oakland on Saturday.
Kazmir was 10-9 with a 4.04 record with the Indians in 2013 and helped them reach the postseason. Kazmir joined the Tribe after not having pitched in the Majors for two years, as he played Independent ball and worked to regain the All-Star stuff he flashed as a young player.
The 30-year-old has already won half as many games with the Athletics this season, with only one loss. His ERA is just 2.28.
He'll be opposed by Cleveland's Josh Tomlin, a righty, who a year ago was beginning his rehabilitation from Tommy John surgery. On May 6, he gave up just one run in 6 2/3 against the Twins, earning the win in his first start of the season. On Sunday, he gave up two runs in six innings against the Rays for his second win.
"I didn't think he had quite as crisp of stuff as he did his first start," manager Terry Francona said after his last outing. "His command, the same. But that goes to show you, when you just battle and grind and don't give in, and know how to pitch, he got us to that point in the game with only giving up two. That was pretty good."
Tomlin credited the bats for propelling him to his second win. With the way Kazmir has looked so far this season, another strong offensive performance from the Tribe may be necessary.
"It feels good," Tomlin said of his start to the year. "It feels good, because you know you can help this team win. You obviously want to get off on the right foot, and I've been fortunate enough to do that."
Athletics: Versatile Callaspo may be used differently
The addition of first baseman Kyle Blanks may mean fewer games for utility man Alberto Callaspo.
Callaspo has appeared in seven games at first base this season, but Oakland manager Bob Melvin said that he may use Callaspo elsewhere with Blanks on the roster.
"I haven't spoken to [Callaspo] about that yet, but we'll see how it plays out," Melvin said. "[Callaspo has] been getting quite a bit of time at DH, anyway. Blanks is a true first baseman at the position."
Melvin said there could be more opportunities for Callaspo at second base, where Eric Sogard and Nick Punto have seen most of the playing time.
"I'm thinking about that," Melvin said. "He does take ground balls at second and keeps himself ready there. We feel we're covered there as far as it goes with the two guys that we have.
"Obviously, he plays third, [and] he DHs for us, too. You never know how in-game things go as far as first base, so he has to keep himself ready there, too."
Indians: Crockett rockets to Majors
Cleveland promoted 22-year-old lefty Kyle Crockett from Double-A Akron on Friday, making the reliever the first Major League player from the 2013 First-Year Player Draft class to be called up and to play. He gave up one run in 1 1/3 innings after Zach McAllister's early exit in the Tribe's 11-1 loss on Friday.
Crockett held lefties to a .118 average at Akron this season, while also posting a 0.57 ERA in 15 games. In two pro seasons, he has a 0.45 ERA with 49 strikeouts and eight walks in 40 1/3 innings.
"It's an exciting time to see this young kid breaking in," Francona said. "We talk about calling guys up -- sometimes you're calling guys up out of necessity. Sometimes, they just knock the door down and kind of force their way. That's kind of cool."
• Kazmir has been a pain in Cleveland's side as an opponent. The nine Tribe hitters the lefty has faced in his career have a combined .132 (14-for-106) average against him.
• Nick Swisher has the most experience against Kazmir with one home run in 37 at-bats, but he has just a .162 average off the southpaw.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.