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Pineda tries to get on track versus Athletics

Rookie Michael Pineda takes aim at his first win in five game series with the Oakland Athletics at the Coliseum.

One of the leading candidates for the American League Rookie of the year, Pineda was dealt a hard-luck loss last Saturday against Chicago, which managed just two runs and three hits off the right-hander in six innings. He also struck out eight in the 3-0 loss, but fell to 9-8 on the year to go along with a 3.71 ERA.

"I know it's a long season, but you know, I'm working hard every day to get strong," the rookie said. "I feel strong in the last month, and I want to finish the season strong."

Pineda has beaten the A's both times he has faced them and has allowed just a run in 12 innings of those starts.

Heading to the hill for the A's this afternoon will be righty Brandon McCarthy, who is 7-7 on the year with a 3.64 ERA. McCarthy had a two-start winning streak stopped on Monday in Cleveland, despite a complete-game effort that saw him allow just two runs and five hits in eight innings. He also fanned 10 batters in the 2-1 loss.

He has tossed three complete games this season, but has lost all three games.

"Other than being some sort of statistical fluke or giving up runs when I shouldn't be, it kind of makes it a little rough, but I'm sure I'll get one without the eight-inning variety and losing on the road," McCarthy said. "It's just kind of a bittersweet feeling. I want to get deep into games, and getting a complete game is a point of pride, but doing it and giving up some runs isn't something I feel good with."

McCarthy is a mere 1-4 lifetime versus the Mariners with a 5.02 ERA in nine games, seven of which have been starts.

Oakland came out on top in Friday's opener, as Cliff Pennington smacked a three-run homer and Hideki Matsui smoked a three-run double, leading the A's to a 9-2 rout.

Scott Sizemore had two hits, including an RBI single, and Brandon Allen collected the other RBI for the A's, who have won back-to-back games after dropping five straight.

Guillermo Moscoso (7-8) worked seven effective innings, giving up two runs -- one earned -- on five hits while striking out six and issuing only one walk.

Franklin Gutierrez and Brendan Ryan drove in runs and Casper Wells added a double for the Mariners, losers in six of their last eight contests.

Jason Vargas (7-13) was saddled with the loss after giving up five runs -- four earned -- on six hits while fanning four and walking four.

The Mariners have won nine of 14 over the Athletics this year.