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Athletics Sweep Mariners To Finish 81-81

Seattle, WA (Sports Network) – Kurt Suzuki and Kevin Kouzmanoff each hit a solo homer to lift Oakland over Seattle, 4-3, in the season finale for both teams.

Dallas Braden (11-14) lasted five innings and was charged with two runs on five hits to get the win, as the Athletics (81-81) avoided their fourth consecutive losing season.

“It was a great finish…These guys play as hard as any team I’ve ever managed or been on and they never quit,” A’s manager Bob Geren said.

Anthony Varvaro (0-1) got the loss behind Ryan Rowland-Smith, who allowed two runs on four hits over a five-inning start for the Mariners (61-101), who ended their disappointing season on a five-game losing streak.

“When I look back on 2010, this is going to be a year that I learned a lot about myself and how to deal with it. There was a lot of stressful times for me and with the team, I learned what I need to do to be successful and I want to get back to that and, starting tomorrow, that’s what I’m doing,” said Rowland-Smith, who finished 1-10 with a 6.75 earned-run average.

Ichiro Suzuki’s double in the fifth scored Greg Halman and Matt Mangini to tie the game, 2-2, but the A’s loaded the bases off Varvaro in the sixth and pushed a run across when Chris Carter greeted Jamey Wright with a base hit.

Kouzmanoff took Garrett Olson deep to left in the eighth.

In the bottom half, Justin Smoak had an RBI single off Craig Breslow, who worked around a leadoff single by Halman in the ninth to notch his fifth save of the season.

Mark Ellis doubled in Rajai Davis in the third inning, and Kurt Suzuki opened the next frame with his 13th home run.

Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, who was penciled in as the designated hitter for the finale, set a major league record for most total chances (415) in a season without an error…The A’s won the season series, 13-6…Ichiro Suzuki finished the season with a .315 average and 42 stolen bases.