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A's welcome homecoming after 3-7 road trip

SEATTLE -- The A's suffered their fifth straight loss Sunday, finishing a 10-game road trip through Texas, Minnesota and Seattle 3-7 to fall nine games under .500, at 12-21 -- their worst start since 1999, when they were 9-24 to open the season.

The good news is they're going home.

"We're going to start winning when we get home," a fiery A's manager Bob Melvin said after the game. "We are. Our record's not indicative of how good we are. We're in every game. It's small little things that are going to make the difference for us. And we're going to start winning when we get home."

Sunday's 4-3 defeat to Felix Hernandez and the Mariners gave the last-place A's their 10th loss in one-run games in 11 tries this season, a reflection of the club's ability to remain in every game -- a big reason why Melvin is confident in a quick turnaround.

"It's a good omen that we are in every game and they keep fighting," he said. "It's never about the effort. The effort's always there. It's about some of the other things that we need to tighten up. We walk too many people at times. Defensively, we're Jekyll and Hyde.

"But we need to start believing we're going to win. It's easy to lose. And everything would suggest we have the ability to win, based on the fact that we're in every game. Whether we're playing good or playing bad, we're usually in every game."

The A's exited their 33rd game with their 33rd error. Their pitchers also walked four batters, and their season total has climbed to 108 in 293 innings.

Starter Jesse Chavez issued two free passes in 6 2/3 innings Sunday, his leadoff walk to Rickie Weeks in the fourth jumpstarting a pivotal three-run frame.

"It kind of sped me up a little bit, that inning for some reason," said Chavez. "When you get quick you lose deception, you lose action. I think that was the only problem that inning."

Yet it's such miscues that have haunted this club all season.

"We got off to a slow start, that's all there is to it, just sluggish," said Chavez. "We're in every ballgame. You look back, it always comes down to our last at-bat or last half inning that doesn't go our way. It's going to go our way at some point. We're not out of these games."

Jane Lee is a reporter for Read her blog, Major Lee-ague, and follow her on Twitter @JaneMLB.
Read More: Oakland Athletics, Jesse Chavez