DENVER -- Three games. Four runs. That's all the A's came up with at Coors Field this weekend.One of baseball's hottest-hitting teams fell flat inside one of baseball's most hitter-friendly ballparks, swept out of town following Sunday's 3-2 loss in the series finale just after taking four from the host
DENVER -- Three games. Four runs. That's all the A's came up with at Coors Field this weekend.
One of baseball's hottest-hitting teams fell flat inside one of baseball's most hitter-friendly ballparks, swept out of town following Sunday's 3-2 loss in the series finale just after taking four from the host Rangers.
The setback -- the A's had won 27 of their previous 34, including six straight -- cost them: Oakland fell two games behind the Mariners for the second American League Wild Card spot after Seattle defeated the Angels later Sunday.
"It's tough to win a four-game series, but we're disappointed we didn't play better here," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "You gotta give them credit. They played well, they pitched well. Every game, they were just a little better than we were."
Operating without the long ball in the first two games of this series, the A's got two in the matinee: A red-hot Matt Chapman opened the fourth inning with his 13th homer, and Khris Davis led off the seventh with his 28th of the year.
The offense was stilled otherwise, producing just three other hits against Rockies starter German Marquez, who struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings. The paltry production in Colorado offered a stark contrast to the A's doings in Arlington, where they beat up on the Rangers for 41 runs over 37 innings to begin this road trip.
Oakland left 25 on base in the series.
"[We had] a good series in Texas, a good grind over there battling those guys," A's catcher Jonathan Lucroy said. "I knew coming in here, though, it was going to be a tough series. I played here last year for a couple months, and I knew these guys are going to bring it. They're going to come after it every day. They play well at home, and we kept them close, we just couldn't score runs against them, and their guys threw pretty well."
A's right-hander Frankie Montas was knocked around for eight hits in just 4 1/3 innings, though he limited the damage to three runs while managing a calf cramp -- two of them coming on Tom Murphy's two-run shot in the second.
During a remarkable run that saw the A's put together 11 consecutive non-losing series ahead of their forgettable stay in the Mile-High City, they routinely relied on a potent offense and a bullish bullpen to compensate for any rotation deficiencies. Oakland's starting staff held its own at Coors Field, though, magnifying the offensive woes.
"You're going to lose a series, but we don't want to get swept," Melvin said. "Now we have a chance to go back home and gain some ground again. We get an extended stay at home, we've been on the road for quite a bit, and it's time for us to start playing really well at home. If we do that, then we forget about this series."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Following Davis' home run, his seventh in seven games, a revived A's club got a base hit from Matt Olson. But Stephen Piscotty flew out, and Marcus Semien fell victim to third baseman Nolan Arenado's dashing defense. Arenado orchestrated an inning-ending double play to squash the potential rally.
Chapman finished the road trip 12-for-26 with seven extra-base hits, bringing his season average to .272.
HE SAID IT
"This game is a funny game, and tomorrow we'll come back out and beat up on the Blue Jays a little bit." -- Lucroy
The A's return home for a three-game set with the Blue Jays. Right-hander Edwin Jackson, who has a 3.86 ERA in his first six starts with Oakland, gets the ball in Monday's 7:05 p.m. PT series opener at the Coliseum. Toronto will counter with right-hander Marco Estrada (4-7, 4.72).
Jane Lee covers the A's for MLB.com.