The Athletics and Mariners square off Friday night in the opener of a weekend series.
Oakland (61-76) begins a six-game homestand after snapping a five-game skid with Thursday’s 7-0 win over the Indians. That wrapped up a 4-6 trip against the New York Yankees, Boston and Cleveland in which the pitching staff recorded a 5.65 ERA and served up 19 homers.
“I would have liked one more (win) at some point, but based on losing five in a row, we needed that one,” manager Bob Melvin told the A’s official website. “It makes the flight a lot better.”
Though the Mariners (58-78) have the fourth-worst record in the AL, they’ve gone 9-4 against the A’s and 4-2 in Oakland.
On July 6, Vargas tossed a five-hitter for one of his four complete games in 2011, but Moscoso held the Mariners to two hits in seven innings of the 2-0 victory in Oakland.
Vargas is 1-7 with a 6.43 ERA in his last 10 starts. The left-hander had been 6-5 with a 3.57 ERA in his first 17 appearances of 2011.
He was ripped for a career high-tying nine runs in 5 2-3 innings of Sunday’s 9-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox, and is 0-2 in his last three starts versus the A’s.
Meanwhile, Moscoso will be trying to overcome some recent inconsistency. After yielding one run in eight innings of a hard-luck loss to Toronto on Aug. 21, the right-hander was tagged for a career-high eight runs in four innings of Saturday’s 9-3 defeat against Boston.
“We’ve seen a lot of good outings from Guillermo. This wasn’t his best,” Melvin said of Moscoso, 4-2 with a 2.81 ERA at home.
Pennington is 3 for 7 with a homer off Vargas this year.
Willingham leads the A’s with 23 homers and 79 RBIs, but is hitting .246. Matsui is second on the team with 65 RBIs while batting .257.
Seattle, which is kicking off a six-game road trip through California, settled for a split of its four-game series with the Los Angeles Angels following Thursday’s 4-3 loss. Dustin Ackley(notes) had a two-run double and Ichiro Suzuki(notes) added a run-scoring single for half of the Mariners’ four hits.
Suzuki is hitting .370 (20 for 54) with eight multihit games against the A’s. The Mariners have won six of those contests.
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