Moscoso hopes to bounce back against M's

The last time Athletics starter Guillermo Moscoso faced the Mariners, manager Bob Melvin called his victory "a terrific performance."

Hopefully Moscoso watched some footage of that win as he looks to rebound from a horrid outing last time out in Oakland's opener of a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners.

The right-handed Moscoso faced Seattle for the first time in his career on July 6 and earned the win with seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball to earn the praise of his manager.

Things did not go as well last time out on Saturday in the first game of a doubleheader with Boston. Moscoso was drilled for eight runs -- seven earned -- on nine hits over just four frames to take the loss, falling to 6-8 with a 3.80 earned run average in 18 games this season.

That outing by the 27-year-old came six days after a tough-luck defeat to Toronto when he gave up the only run over eight innings of a 1-0 setback.

Jason Vargas opposed Moscoso in that July meeting and will do so again tonight. He gave up both runs over eight innings to take the loss, though he was much better than his previous outing against the A's. The left-hander took a rough home loss on April 23, allowing six runs over five innings of work.

Vargas is just 1-7 with a 6.43 ERA over his past 10 starts overall and has been touched for 17 runs while going 0-2 in his previous three appearances. The 28-year-old faced the White Sox on Sunday and was hammered for a season- high nine runs on 10 hits over 5 2/3 innings to fall to 7-12 with a 4.52 ERA on the season.

Seattle hits the road following a 2-5 homestand that concluded with yesterday's 4-3 loss to the Angels. The Mariners ended with just four hits and failed to fully take advantage of seven walks by Los Angeles starter Ervin Santana.

"We had our opportunities. Santana, he always has great stuff, but he was erratic today. When he's erratic like that early on in the game you got to take advantage of that, you got to finish innings off, you got to take advantage of those opportunities and we just didn't do that," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said.

Ichiro Suzuki had a run-scoring hit and Dustin Ackley added a two-run dribbler up the middle to pull the M's within one, but they couldn't take starter Charlie Furbush off the hook after he allowed four runs over six innings.

Oakland, meanwhile, avoided a four-game sweep in Cleveland yesterday by posting a 7-0 rout. Cliff Pennington had four hits and drove in three runs to give starter Gio Gonzalez all the offense he needed. Gonzalez picked up his 12th win of the season by hurling seven scoreless innings of four-hit ball.

"That was big for us today," Melvin said of Gonzalez. "It looked like he was tiring a bit at the end, but we really needed him to give us seven. The last outs of the seventh were big."

Coco Crisp went 3-for-5 with two runs batted in for the A's, who snapped a five-game skid and went 4-6 on a 10-game road trip.

The Mariners have won nine of 13 over the Athletics this year.