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Gonzalez Pitches Gem, A’s Beat Marlins

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Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Florida Marlins on June 28, 2011 in Oakland. ( Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Gio Gonzalez #47 of the Oakland Athletics pitches against the Florida Marlins on June 28, 2011 in Oakland. ( Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Gio Gonzalez, a Marlins fan all his life, knew he had plenty of friends back home in Florida watching Tuesday night’s game. That was all the motivation he needed.

Gonzalez allowed one hit over eight innings, pitching the Oakland Athletics to a rain-delayed 1-0 victory over the Marlins.

“This is for all the people in Hialeah,” Gonzalez said. “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing.”

Gonzalez also had his family in town, making the day even sweeter.

“My mom and dad have always been big inspirations to me,” he said. “My brother, too. My dad cooked a good breakfast, too. I didn’t have anything to worry about.”

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Hideki Matsui doubled and scored the only run on Kurt Suzuki’s sacrifice fly. Coco Crisp had two hits as the A’s won for the eighth time in 12 games.

After the start was delayed 72 minutes by rain, Gonzalez (7-5) won his second consecutive decision despite getting support of two or fewer runs for the 10th time in 17 starts. The left-hander gave up a leadoff single to Emilio Bonifacio, then retired 23 of his next 26 batters. He walked three and struck out nine.

“I’m used to that,” Gonzalez said. “It seems the day I pitch it’s rainy and I’ve learned to adapt. It’s definitely a mental challenge, but Kurt kept me in the game. He kept me focused.”

Gonzalez had his third start delayed by rain. He is 2-0 in those games, allowing one run combined. He also had a game rained out in which he allowed seven runs.

“That’s the best I’ve seen him pitch and that’s right up there with the best-pitched game for us since I’ve been here,” A’s interim manager Bob Melvin said.

Andrew Bailey struck out the side in the ninth for his sixth save in seven chances.

Marlins starter Javier Vazquez (4-8) fell to 1-4 over his last seven games despite not giving up an earned run for the second straight start. Vazquez allowed an unearned run on three hits and matched his season high with seven innings. He did not walk a batter and struck out five.

“I threw the ball well, but Gio was tough on us,” Vazquez said. “Everything seems to be going wrong right now.”

Vazquez pitched six innings or more for the first time in five starts. He retired 11 of the final 12 hitters he faced as the Marlins lost their 14th consecutive one-run game. They started the season 14-4 in one-run games. Florida fell to 3-23 in June.

“It’s just been a tough month, man, that’s all I’ve got to say really,” Vazquez said. “It’s unexplainable. We were playing such good baseball the first couple of months and now it seems like we’re doing something that costs us the game.”

Gonzalez did not allow a runner past first base and never faced more than four batters in an inning.

Matsui led off the second with a double and stayed there when shortstop Hanley Ramirez bobbled Conor Jackson’s grounder for an error. A groundout advanced both runners and Suzuki’s fly to right easily scored Matsui.

Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez, a .343 hitter against left-handers, was thrown out of the game by plate umpire Phil Cuzzi after striking out, on an appeal, in the seventh inning. It was his first career ejection.

Crisp had one hit in his previous 19 at-bats against Florida before leading off the fourth with a single.

Vazquez remained a mystery to Ryan Sweeney, who was 0 for 3 with a pair of strikeouts against the right-hander and is now 0 for 13 against him. Cliff Pennington was 0 for 4 and is hitless in his last 24 at-bats.

The A’s failed to hit more than one home run for the 31st consecutive game, tying an Oakland record set during the 1978 season.

NOTES: Florida’s Jack McKeon managed in Oakland for the first time since Oct. 1, 1978, his last day as A’s manager. … RHP Guillermo Moscoso will replace RHP Graham Godfrey in Oakland’s starting rotation. … RHP Rich Harden is expected to be activated from his rehab assignment in time to start Friday against Arizona. … Melvin said he expects to play Mark Ellis during this series, likely at first base. … Logan Morrison became the fourth Marlins player to appear as a designated hitter in as many games this season. … A’s OF David DeJesus played his 300th consecutive game without an error, the longest active streak among outfielders.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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