Kazmir, Chavez are right there with Gray

Kazmir, Chavez are right there with Gray

OAKLAND -- A's starters Jesse Chavez and Scott Kazmir, both of whom went unbeaten in April, were among those in contention for American League Pitcher of the Month, an award that went to Oakland ace Sonny Gray on Monday.

Kazmir, who won a combined 10 games in the Majors over his previous three seasons, entered his Monday night start against the Mariners 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA.

"He's great," Gray said. "He's great to everyone on the staff. He's really supportive, a good teammate and a good friend. When you come here, you are expected to perform well, and that's our expectation as a team. As a staff, we try to outdo one another. It's a good group, full of energy."

Chavez started two games for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2012, his only starts in 191 Major League games entering the season. He pitched out of the A's bullpen last year, but when Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin were lost for the season to Tommy John surgery, Chavez was stretched out as a starter in Spring Training.

"It's just the opportunity, a consistent opportunity," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "He's prepared himself for this opportunity. It's a pretty unique story."

The 30-year-old veteran is 2-0 in six starts with a 1.89 ERA.

Rick Eymer is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.