NEW YORK (AP) — Scott Kazmir has been so good for the Oakland Athletics, manager Bob Melvin wasn't prepared to see his ace flop so badly.
Kazmir was tagged for three homers and allowed a season-high seven runs in the A's 10-1 loss to the New York Mets and Bartolo Colon on Tuesday night.
"It's almost a shock when you see him give up some runs but he just got some balls up, missed locations with a few of them and they didn't miss them," Melvin said. "Usually he's so unpredictable in his pitches that if he does get a ball up sometimes he gets away with it but he didn't today."
A first-round draft pick by New York in 2002 but sent to Tampa Bay in a very unpopular trade two years later, Kazmir struggled from the start in his first start ever in Queens.
He entered with the AL's best ERA (2.08) and on a four-game winning streak, but was out after just three innings. His ERA rose to 2.66.
Kazmir (9-3) gave up consecutive homers to Curtis Granderson and Chris Young in the second inning and a three-run shot to Travis d'Arnaud in the third. The left-hander went 22 starts without giving up more than one homer in a game since Aug. 18, with the Indians.
Kazmir blamed his lack of command on his troubles, not his first outing against the Mets in New York — he beat the Mets in September in Cleveland.
"I've never played in Shea Stadium. I'd never played in Citi Field so it's not really coming back for me," Kazmir said. "I think it'd be a little bit different if I had actually played at the big league level with the Mets and had a little bit of history in that regard, but it was just going out here today to take care of business."
The A's second straight loss ended with reliever Jeff Francis striking out. Melvin had Derek Norris and Craig Gentry on the bench but Gentry was given a cortisone shot in a knee. Norris was out of the lineup after being hit by a backswing on Sunday.
"I wasn't going to use him in that type of game," Melvin said of Norris.
Colon (8-5) shut down the team that didn't want him back this year despite an 18-win season, pitching four-hit ball for eight innings against the AL West leaders.