(Sports Network) - At seven games off the pace in the American League West Division, time is running out on theOakland Athletics and their hopes for a postseason berth. The A's will try to get a winning streak going tonight in the finale of a three-game series versus the Seattle Mariners at the Coliseum.
After beating Seattle in Monday's series opener, the A's dropped a 7-5 decision last night behind starting pitcherDallas Braden. The left-hander was torched for six runs and nine hits in five innings to absorb the loss.
"It's big, just as far as perseverance is concerned. There's an old saying, 'Try hard and work hard, even when no one is looking,'" Braden said of the team battling back. "I think that flows over into what we're doing."
Kurt Suzuki and Coco Crisp both had two RBI, while Steven Tolleson finished with three hits for the A's, who have lost six of nine games and hope that first-place Texas continues to falter down the stretch. The Rangershave lost five straight.
The Athletics are 3-2 on a nine-game homestand and will send Gio Gonzalez to the hill Wednesday night. Gonzalez has won three straight starts and is 6-2 with a 2.05 earned run average in his last 10 starts. He threw six shutout innings and allowed four hits in an 8-0 triumph over the Angels last Friday, improving to 13-8 in 28 starts to go along with a 3.12 ERA.
Gonzalez is 1-0 in two starts against Seattle this season and 2-1 in seven career games, five of which have been starts, in this series.
Seattle has alternated wins and losses over its last six games and ended a six-game slide by the Bay with Tuesday's win. It set the tone with five runs in the second inning and got a home run from Adam Moore.
"We talked about putting ourselves in good offensive situations," said Mariners interim manager Daren Brown. "I thought we were able to string some hits together in the five-run inning, and I know that's something we haven't seen a lot since I've been here, but it was good to see it tonight."
Moore and Casey Kotchman both ended with two RBI, while Ichiro Suzuki recorded a pair of hits and knocked in a run for the Mariners, who got five innings of two-run ball out of winning starter Doug Fister. David Aardsmalater posted his 29th save by getting the final out of the game.
Ichiro is riding a nine-game hitting streak in which he owns seven multi-hit performances.
Taking the mound for the Mariners this evening will be Luke French, who has won back-to-back and four of his last six starts. French pitched seven scoreless innings of one-hit ball in Friday's 1-0 win over Cleveland to even his 2010 mark at 4-4 in 11 games (8 starts) this season.
The left-hander recently lost to Oakland on August 11 and is 1-2 with a 5.89 earned run average in five career games (3 starts) against the Athletics.
Oakland has won six of eight meetings with the Mariners held at the Coliseum this season, as well as eight of 14 overall matchups between the two clubs.