But there were tell-tale signs in the early going that these A's brought with them a different approach than the one employed in Sunday's shutout loss to Jered Weaver and the Angels, or in Saturday's one-run showing against Tim Lincecum. Despite coming up empty in key situations Tuesday, the A's managed to force 105 pitches out of Brewers starter Jimmy Nelson in just five innings.
Then they really went to work.
Oakland broke out for three runs in the game-changing seventh frame, albeit with help from a costly fielding error from shortstop Jonathan Villar, whose miscue set up Yonder Alonso's first-pitch, go-ahead single with two outs, and Marcus Semien followed with a two-run triple.
"Early on, it felt like part of the last few days," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Then all of a sudden, toward the end of the game where it was on the line, our at-bats were a lot more intense, a lot more focused it seemed like, and we got some big hits, certainly from Marcus."
Semien entered the game without a hit in his previous 15 at-bats and exited it with three, totaling just as many RBIs. It was his opposite-field single with two outs in the sixth that allowed the A's to tie the game.
"I tried to get ready early and see the ball," Semien said. "That's what it comes down to. We had some tough games. For myself, I wasn't getting my foot down early and seeing it. Whether it was Weaver or Lincecum, the quality at-bats weren't coming. I tried to get back to that today, worked hard in early BP to just find my stroke and get ready early."
It was Semien's 14th multihit game of the season. Jed Lowrie also had three hits on the night, with Danny Valencia and Stephen Vogt counting out two each in the five-run parade, equaling the club's run output in its previous four games.
"I think it's huge," Vogt said. "If you look at our game tonight, we hit a lot of balls hard at people, like we have been the past few days. We had better at-bats up and down the lineup. We got their starter out of there after five with a high pitch count right away. So good at-bats up and down. It was big we got some big two-outs hits tonight."
Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010.