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Oakland at Seattle

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Oakland (74-88) «020000000270
Seattle (67-95)000000000020

Athletics 2, Mariners 0

CBSSports.com wire reports
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SEATTLE -- Toward the end of August, when he was hovering around .500 with his record for the season, Gio Gonzalez told Oakland manager Bob Melvin he was going to win the rest of his starts.

He didn't quite accomplish that goal, but he came awfully close and put an impressive exclamation point on 2011.

Gonzalez closed the season with flourish as the left-hander allowed just two hits in eight innings to help the Athletics beat the Seattle Mariners 2-0 on Wednesday night.

Gonzalez finished the season with seven wins in his final eight starts. He went from having a 9-11 record after losing on Aug. 15 against Baltimore, to ending the season with a 16-12 mark, setting a career-high for wins.

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"With Bob I always try and be as cocky as I can with him, but he's that type of manager," Gonzalez said. "He loves that kind of stuff, where he wants to see the competitor out of you."

Gonzalez gave up one hit through six innings, a liner into right field by Chris Gimenez leading off the third. After following Gimenez's single with a walk to Ichiro Suzuki, Gonzalez retired 11 of the next 12 batters. He struck out the side in the sixth and finished with a career-high tying 11 strikeouts.

Seattle's other hit was Alex Liddi's two-out double in the seventh that center fielder Coco Crisp nearly snagged with a diving backhand attempt.

Gonzalez tied a career-high in strikeouts set last year against the Chicago White Sox and walked three batters. He had at least one strikeout in six of his eight innings and finished the season with a 3.12 ERA in 32 starts.

"To finish in the fashion that he did and pitch as well or better than he had all year, I think the last two starts might have been his best two starts of the year," Melvin said.

"I think he realizes now he has to set the bar a little bit higher for himself and take another step next year and try to win 20 games or raise the bar every year. The command gets better, the stuff gets better and as you can see his confidence gets better."

Andrew Bailey pitched the ninth for his 24th save in 26 chances.

The Mariners and A's will see each other again on March 28 and 29 in Tokyo as they will become the latest teams to open a season playing in Japan. The announcement of the two-game series was made Wednesday.

Gonzalez could be starting one of those games for the A's after finishing 2011 on a roll. He won his final four starts to top the 15 wins he had in his rookie season of 2010.

Jai Miller homered to right-center field in the second inning off Seattle starter Anthony Vasquez (1-6) who lasted just two innings.

Miller came up from Triple-A Sacramento on Sept. 11, but displayed his power throughout the Pacific Coast League this season. Miller finished second in the PCL with 32 homers and was fourth in slugging percentage at .558. But he also led the PCL with 179 strikeouts, a feature he showed when he struck out in the fourth. Miller was robbed of extra bases in the seventh inning when Suzuki made a leaping catch on the warning track in right field.

"It's always good to leave a good taste with the people making the decisions ... and let them know I can come up here and help the team," Miller said.

Seattle finished the season with a franchise record shutouts. They went scoreless in their final 20 innings, getting shut out in the final two games.

It fit with Seattle's season-long struggles at the plate. Suzuki ended his year with 184 hits after going hitless in the finale. It's the first time in his 11-year career Suzuki failed to reach 200 hits and he ended the season with a career-low .272 batting average.

Suzuki was evasive when asked about his season.

"I'll leave it to you guys," he said through his interpreter. "You are the professionals at evaluating."

Vasquez was one of six Seattle pitchers in the finale. After Vasquez, Seattle's bullpen combined to give up three hits and no runs over the final seven innings.

Notes

Seattle finished the season with a crowd of 20,173. The Mariners unofficial season total was 1,896,929 in 81 home games. It's the first time since moving into Safeco Field the Mariners have failed to draw 2 million fans. The last time Seattle was under 2 million in a full 81-game home schedule was 1989. ... Gonzalez became the first A's pitcher to win five games in a month since July 2005 when Barry Zito won six and Rich Harden won five. Gonzalez was 5-1 in September. ... Seattle's previous record of 15 shutouts was set in 1978, 1983, 1990 and 2010. ... In one of the stranger pitching lines, Vasquez finished the season with 13 home runs allowed and 13 strikeouts in 29 1/3 innings.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Players of the Game
Oakland

J. Miller
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Oakland

G. Gonzalez
IP 8.0
H 2
ER 0
BB 3
K 11
 
Oakland Athletics
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Coco Crisp, CF4000022 .264
Michael Taylor, LF4010010 .200
Jemile Weeks, 2B4010011 .303
Josh Willingham, DH2000011 .246
   a- Hideki Matsui, PH-DH2000001 .251
Scott Sizemore, 3B3110110 .245
Chris Carter, 1B3010011 .136
    Brandon Allen, 1B1000010 .200
Jai Miller, RF4112022 .250
Landon Powell, C3010012 .171
Adam Rosales, SS3010012 .098
Totals33272112  
a-flied out for Willingham in the 6th
Batting
2B - Scott Sizemore (22, Vasquez)
HR - Jai Miller (1, Vasquez)
RBI - Jai Miller 2 (2)
SB - Scott Sizemore (5, 3rd base off Vasquez/Gimenez)
Team LOB - 5
Oakland Athletics
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Gio Gonzalez (W,16-12) 82003110 3.12
Andrew Bailey (S,24) 1000010 3.24
Pitches-Strikes - Gio Gonzalez 109-67, Andrew Bailey 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Gio Gonzalez 7-6
Batters Faced - Gio Gonzalez 29, Andrew Bailey 3
Seattle Mariners
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Ichiro Suzuki, RF3000110 .272
Trayvon Robinson, CF4000032 .210
Dustin Ackley, 2B4000021 .273
Justin Smoak, 1B4000012 .234
Mike Carp, LF4000010 .276
Adam Kennedy, DH2000120 .234
Alex Liddi, 3B2010110 .225
Kyle Seager, SS3000003 .258
Chris Gimenez, C3010010 .203
Totals29020312  
Batting
2B - Alex Liddi (3, G. Gonzalez)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
DP - Wilhelmsen-Seager-Smoak
Seattle Mariners
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Anthony Vasquez (L,1-6) 2422011 8.90
Josh Lueke 2100130 6.06
Chance Ruffin 2000030 4.08
Steve Delabar 1100020 2.57
Tom Wilhelmsen 1100000 3.31
Shawn Kelley 1000030 0.00
Pitches-Strikes - Anthony Vasquez 43-26, Josh Lueke 41-28, Chance Ruffin 26-16, Steve Delabar 20-14, Tom Wilhelmsen 12-9, Shawn Kelley 12-9
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Anthony Vasquez 3-2, Josh Lueke 1-2, Chance Ruffin 1-2, Tom Wilhelmsen 2-0
Batters Faced - Anthony Vasquez 10, Josh Lueke 8, Chance Ruffin 6, Steve Delabar 4, Tom Wilhelmsen 3, Shawn Kelley 3
Game Information
Attendance - 20173
Game Time - 2:22
Temperature - 57
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Jerry Layne, Second Base - Bob Davidson, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt