(SportsNetwork.com) - Scott Kazmir states his case to be the American League's starting pitcher at next week's All-Star Game on Thursday when the Oakland Athletics close out their Bay Bridge Series with the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.
Kazmir was chosen to his first Midsummer Classic in six years on Sunday after a terrific first half of the season that has seen him go 10-3 with a 2.53 ERA, while serving as the ace of an Oakland team that is an AL-best 57-34 and 3 1/2 games up in the AL West.
"Once he gets into rhythm he gets tough," Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. "We feel good when he's out there. For me, he's very deserving (of the All-Star selection). He's been awfully consistent this year."
Kazmir, who has never faced the Giants, beat the Toronto Blue Jays his last time out, as he allowed a run and three hits and struck out eight over seven innings.
San Francisco, meanwhile, will counter with former A's pitcher Tim Hudson, who spent the first six years of his career pitching in Oakland.
"The organization is a team that I do find a soft spot in my heart for since I spent so many years there," Hudson said, "and they gave me an opportunity to start my big league career there, but at the same time, they're another team that I'm trying to go out there and beat.
"They don't know me; I don't know them. They're going to try and hit it off my forehead and I'm going to try to make them swing and miss. It's going to be a fun day."
Hudson is also enjoying a nice season with the Giants, but comes into this start, having dropped his last three decisions, despite surrendering three total runs in his last two starts.
On Saturday in San Diego Hudson did not get a decision, as he allowed just a run in six innings of his team's 5-3 win. He is 7-5 on the year to go along with a 2.53 ERA.
Hudson, who has received five runs of support over his last four starts, lost his only other start to the A's back in 2008 as a member of the Atlanta Braves.
Oakland saw its six-game winning streak come to an end on Wednesday, as Matt Cain pitched six innings to secure his first win in nearly two months and Hunter Pence homered and drove in two runs to power San Francisco to a 5-2 triumph.
Cain (2-7) gave up five hits and a pair of runs with two walks and four strikeouts. The righty had been 0-4 over his previous seven starts and won for the first time since May 15 against Miami.
"It's all from the good work that happened earlier and we have to get back on track," Giants manager Bruce Bochy said about his team moving back into the first place in the NL West, a percentage point ahead of the Dodgers. "We finally got some runs on the board. There's a long road ahead of us, but we are fighting. This was a good one to get at home and play well."
Jason Hammel (0-1) surrendered six hits and three runs -- two earned -- with three walks and a trio of strikeouts over five frames in his A's debut. He was acquired last weekend in a deal along with Jeff Samardzija from the Chicago Cubs for top prospect Addison Russell, former first-round pick Billy McKinney, right-handed hurler Dan Straily and a player to be named later or cash.
"My slider is usually my go-to pitch, but I just wasn't commanding it tonight," Hammel said.
Stephen Vogt homered for the A's, who had given up just five runs during their winning streak.
Despite Wednesday's loss Oakland is still 9-2 in interleague play this season. The A's, though, are just 2-13 in their last 15 visits to San Francisco.