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A's Romp Over M's, 8-1, On Thursday

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) - Gio Gonzalez struck out eight in seven scoreless innings and rookie Chris Carter bashed a monstrous two-run homer, as Oakland posted an 8-1 win to open a four-game set with theMariners.

Jack Cust had a two-run single to back the efforts of Gonzalez (15-9), who limited the M's to four hits while walking five to snap the A's season-long six-game losing streak.

Cliff Pennington added a solo home run and Mark Ellis contributed two hits and an RBI as Oakland (78-81) took a step towards halting a stretch of three straight losing seasons, although, they will need a sweep to do so.

Both clubs are out to end dubious distinctions, as Seattle (61-98) is angling to avoid a second 100-loss season in three years. Doug Fister (6-14) didn't help that cause in the club's second straight setback, allowing a season-high 13 hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings.

Fister managed to keep the A's off the scoreboard until a four-run fifth. Jeremy Hermida began the frame with a single, and Fister retired the next two, before two-out hits by Rajai Davis and Daric Barton loaded the bases.

A balk scored the first run and moved the runners for Ellis, whose infield single made it 2-0. Cust later scored two with a base hit to left.

Carter launched a long home run to left field with one out in the sixth, chasing Fister in favor of Brian Sweeney, who issued a walk to Pennington that led to another run after Adam Moore's error.

Pennington's two-out homer in the eighth pushed the lead to 8-0. Vin Mazzaro was charged with preserving the shutout, but Greg Halman's fielder's choice with runners at the corners spoiled the effort in the home half.

Oakland has a chance to finish second in the American League West for the first time since claiming the division in 2006. The Angels and A's are tied in the standings...Justin Smoak had two hits, walked twice and scored the lone run for Seattle...Davis was 4-for-5 as part of a 16-hit night for Oakland.