Scott Kazmir would not appear to be among the A’s All-Star hopefuls who need to impress this weekend in front of Red Sox manager John Farrell.

Nonetheless, Kazmir showed Farrell -- this year’s American League skipper –- just how dialed in he is right now. The left-hander won his fourth consecutive decision to pace the A’s to a 4-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox to open a four-game series at the Coliseum.

Kazmir (9-2) went seven strong innings and limited Boston to four hits. His ERA stands at a sparkling 2.08 and with each start he is solidifying his All-Star candidacy.

His team, meanwhile, won for the fifth time in the past six games. The A’s have opened up a six-game lead in the American League West, their largest division lead before the All-Star break since 1988.

Starting pitching report
Kazmir has posted a 1.60 ERA over his past eight starts (9 ER in 50 2/3 IP), and a nasty change-up has been a key in much of that success. He was pulling the string again with that pitch Thursday night, and finished with eight strikeouts and zero walks.

Kazmir lowered his A.L.-leading opponents’ batting average .203. He’s been so good that Thursday’s outing actually increased his ERA to 2.08. He retired 16 of his first 18 hitters and had just one pitch to regret. He had just one pitch to regret, and that came against longtime nemesis Dustin Pedroia. The Red Sox second baseman reached out and poked a changeup that surprisingly carried over the left field wall to narrow the A’s lead to 3-2.

For his career, Pedroia is hitting an even .500 off Kazmir (19-for-38) with two home runs.