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OAK@BAL: Kazmir fans seven over seven shutout frames

The ticket requests piling up on the manager's desk in the visiting clubhouse were all the indication that Joe Girardi needed. With nothing but sellout crowds expected for this weekend series against the Athletics in Oakland, the Yankees' visit to town is an event.

Derek Jeter's last games at the Coliseum would be enough of a draw on their own, but the A's have made themselves comfortable in the first-place seat of the American League West, owning sole possession of the top spot in the division for the 47th straight day entering play on Saturday.

"They do things the right way," Girardi said. "They pitch extremely well, their defense is good. From an offensive standpoint, they hit the ball out of the ballpark. They run the bases. They make you work as a pitcher. They do a lot of things right."

The A's have won 12 of 17 their last 17 against the Yankees, but saw their seven-game home win streak against New York snapped in Friday's 7-0 loss.

"Right now, every win is a big win for us," the Yanks' Mark Teixeira said. "We don't have a huge margin for error."

Saturday's game will feature a rematch of two pitchers who faced off on June 3 in New York, as right-hander Hiroki Kuroda takes the ball for the Yankees and left-hander Scott Kazmir draws the starting assignment for the Athletics.

Both hurlers pitched well in that game, taking no-decisions in the Athletics' 5-2, 10-inning victory. Kazmir struck out 10 in 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs, and Kuroda entrusted a 2-1 lead to the bullpen after 6 1/3 frames.

More recently, Kuroda has gotten his season back on track by going 2-1 with a 3.30 ERA in his last seven starts after going 2-3 with a 5.14 ERA over his first six.

Kazmir is also coming in hot; he has allowed one run or fewer in four of his last six starts, going 3-1 with a 1.67 ERA and a .195 opponent batting average over that span. For the season, the lefty is 7-2 with a 2.20 ERA that ranks sixth in the Majors.

"Seems like a broken record, with the way he pitches for us," said A's manager Bob Melvin. "He's just a very consistent guy. It's tough to even think about a tough game he's had for us. He's been spot-on every time."

Yankees: Ellsbury streaking
Jacoby Ellsbury enters play on Saturday with a 17-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the Majors. It is the longest hitting streak by a Yankee since Derek Jeter compiled a 19-game hit streak in September 2012.

The Elias Sports Bureau notes that Ellsbury's streak is the longest by a Yankees center fielder since Melky Cabrera logged an 18-game run in 2007. Needless to say, the Yankees want to keep Ellsbury in the batter's box; he left Thursday's game at Seattle with right hip stiffness but was back in the lineup on Friday.

Over the span, Ellsbury is batting .373 (25-for-67) with nine runs, three doubles, two homers, 12 RBIs, eight walks and seven stolen bases. Ellsbury's career best is a 22-game hit streak from May 2-27, 2009, while with the Red Sox.

A's: Parrino called up with Callaspo on paternity list
The A's called up Andy Parrino from Triple-A Sacramento on Friday with Alberto Callaspo on the paternity list, and Parrino found himself starting at second base after Nick Punto was announced as a late scratch. Callaspo is expected to miss the entire series as he awaits the birth of his child.

Melvin said Punto has been "a little banged up," but he originally believed Punto could play against Yankees right-hander David Phelps. Instead, Punto was removed from the lineup about 2 1/2 hours before game time.

Eric Sogard, who often plays second base against righties, is also hurting after fouling a ball off his ankle several days ago. Parrino is a switch-hitter who was batting .344 at Sacramento and gives the A's versatility in the field.

Parrino went 0-for-3 with a strikeout in the series opener.

Worth noting
• Teixeira has hit more home runs against the A's (36) than he has against any other opponent, and Teixeira has hit more home runs (20) at the Coliseum than any other ballpark as a visiting player.

• Jeter is 10-for-24 (.417) with six runs, a double, two walks and two stolen bases in six games on this trip.

• Yoenis Cespedes had his season-high nine game hitting streak snapped on Friday. He was 15-for-41 (.366) over the stretch.

• Josh Donaldson is hitless in his last 27 at-bats, the longest stretch of his career. Comments