Coming off another win last week, Scott Kazmir has yet to lose since joining the Oakland Athletics this past offseason.
That shouldn't come as a huge surprise to the Seattle Mariners, who couldn't get anything going against him last month.
Off to the best start of his career, Kazmir takes the mound opposite Chris Young as the Athletics open a four-game home set against the Mariners on Monday night.
Kazmir (4-0, 2.11 ERA) has been superb in the early going, recording a quality start in each of his first six turns in the rotation. The left-hander has struck out 35 and walked just seven over 38 1-3 innings while holding opponents to a .206 average.
Kazmir didn't have his best stuff but managed to limit the damage in Tuesday's 9-3 victory at Texas. He allowed three runs and seven hits and needed 95 pitches to get through five innings.
"They made him work some," said manager Bob Melvin, whose team has won each of Kazmir's six starts. "I could have let him go out again, but they made him work pretty hard. This is the first game this year that it hasn't been real easy for him. But again, he ends up with the win, and if that's a bad game for him, we'll take it."
Kazmir had everything working in a 3-0 win at Seattle on April 13. The former All-Star struck out a season-high nine over six innings of two-hit ball but didn't factor in the decision.
"Kazmir's been on fire," Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon told MLB's official website, "and he chewed us up pretty good today."
Kazmir also gave Seattle fits in a 10-1 road win July 24 while with Cleveland, allowing one unearned run and one hit over eight innings. Justin Smoak is 1 for 12 with seven strikeouts in their matchups, and Michael Saunders is 0 for 8.
The A's (19-12) return home after closing a 6-4 road trip with Sunday's 3-2, 10-inning win at Boston. Yoenis Cespedes drove in the go-ahead run with a bases-loaded infield single to help Oakland avoid a three-game sweep.
The Mariners (14-15) are on the verge of getting back to .500 thanks to a 7-2 surge. Seattle suffered a 5-4, 11-inning loss in Friday's series opener at Houston before scoring 17 runs in back-to-back wins.
Robinson Cano and Willie Bloomquist both drove in two as the Mariners went 5 for 13 with runners in scoring position during Sunday's 8-7 victory.
Seattle now turns to Young (1-0, 3.04), who has more than held his own after missing all of last season following shoulder surgery.
"I think he's getting a better feel for all his breaking pitches," Zunino said of Young, who didn't sign until March 27. "He has such good command, up and down in the zone."
Young allowed two runs - one earned - over 5 2-3 innings in Tuesday's 6-3 win at Yankee Stadium, earning his first victory since Sept. 2, 2012.
"I pitched well enough to win. That's the goal," Young said. "If the team wins, I'm happy. If you lose 1-0, you're upset with the pitch you made that didn't get it done. I made enough quality pitches that gave the team a chance and the guys picked me up."
Young scattered four hits over six scoreless innings opposite Kazmir last month. He is 2-1 with a 2.43 ERA in six games - five starts - against the A's.
Oakland has taken two of three from Seattle in each of the first two series this season.