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Saarloos tied career-high with seven strikeouts

SEATTLE (AP) -- Kirk Saarloos gave the Oakland Athletics' tired
bullpen a day off.

Kirk Saarloos pitched a four-hitter for his second career
shutout, leading Oakland over the Seattle Mariners 5-0 Thursday.

"Hopefully, they were able to relax and have a fun day,"
Saarloos said. "And I don't think there's a pitcher out there who
is going to turn down a chance to have a complete game."

Saarloos (4-4), a 26-year-old right-hander acquired from Houston
in April 2004, tied his career high with seven strikeouts and
walked none. His only previous complete game was a six-hit shutout
for Houston over Pittsburgh July 25, 2002.

In winning his third straight start, Saarloos threw 80 of 127
pitches for strikes.

"That's why you put in the hard work during the offseason to be
able to go out and do something like this," he said. "It was one
of those days when everything fell into place and they gave me some
run support so I could just go out there and pitch."

Oakland manager Ken Macha was grateful.

"Today, I was looking at the bullpen before the game started
and I didn't know how much I had out there," Macha said. "He
stepped up big. That really was a huge pickup for the club."

Richie Sexson struck out four times.

"If you'd have told me that before the game, I'd have been real
pleased," Saarloos said. "He's a great hitter. It was just one of
those days."

Scott Hatteberg had four hits for the eighth time in his career,
and Oakland finished with 16 hits.

Hatteberg is not happy after losing his first baseman's job to
rookie Dan Johnson, recalled from Triple-A Sacramento May 27 after
Erubiel Durazo went on the disabled list with left elbow
tendinitis.

"It's not like playing," Hatteberg said. "You really got to
get a routine and stick to it. You drive yourself crazy doing it.
I'd still rather be playing."

Bouncing back from a 12-inning, 5-4 loss Wednesday night, the
A's won three of four against Seattle and won for the fifth time in
six games overall. The last-place A's are 6-3 against the Mariners
this season, including 4-2 at Seattle.

Ryan Franklin (3-9) allowed five runs and 11 hits in 6 2/3
innings.

Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki went hitless for the second straight
game, going 0-for-4. He was 0-for-6 in the Mariners' 13-inning, 5-4
victory Wednesday night.

"It doesn't matter how long I am not hitting well," Suzuki
said through a translator. "It's always frustrating to me whether
it's a game or an at-bat. It doesn't make any difference."

Bobby Kielty's sacrifice fly put Oakland ahead in the third, and
Kielty hit into a run-scoring double play in the fifth after Eric
Chavez doubled and Scott Hatteberg singled.

Oakland broke open the game in the seventh. Chavez singled and
scored his third run when Hatteberg doubled . Rookie Dan Johnson's
RBI single chased Franklin, and Nick Swisher added an RBI single
off Shigetoshi Hasegawa.

"It's tough to win when you only get four hits," Mariners
manager Mike Hargrove said.

Game notes
Chavez went 2-for-3 and was 7-for-17 for the series. ...
The A's got their fifth shutout of the season, while the Mariners
were blanked for the fourth time. ... Saarloos' wife, Kristen, is a
graduate of Issaquah High School in the Seattle area and the
pitcher estimated he got tickets to about 30 family and friends.
... The A's have won four consecutive series. ... Sexson took over
the major league lead with 82 strikeouts. He leads the Mariners
with 16 homers and 54 RBI. ... Seattle matched its season high for
hits allowed.