A's disappointed after 'frustrating' road trip

A's disappointed after 'frustrating' road trip

SEATTLE -- The A's will return to the Coliseum on Monday without a win to show for their week-long absence.

An ugly 10-2 loss to the Mariners at Safeco Field on Sunday afternoon marked the culmination of a winless, six-game road swing through Anaheim and Seattle. Poor pitching and continual lack of execution at the plate plagued them along the way.

"Terrible," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "I can't remember the last time we went on a road trip and didn't come home with a win. I feel bad for our fans that come and support us here, too, because we get some fans here and in Anaheim, so to not get one is disappointing."

The A's were outscored, 41-21, on the trip, which dropped their road record to a Major League-worst 21-47. Consequently, not even a respectable home record (37-31) could help them. At 58-78, a season-high 20 games below .500, they have the same record they did at this point last year, and the year before.

If only the A's found consistency elsewhere; their starting pitchers have largely struggled in the second half, posting a 6.16 ERA over the last 34 games. Sunday starter Daniel Gossett, who gave the A's 6 2/3 innings his last time out in Anaheim, only made it through 3 2/3 innings.

The rookie right-hander allowed three runs on seven hits, including a home run. He also walked a career-high five batters, leading him to throw 89 pitches before being pulled in the fourth.

"Just gotta locate better," Gossett said. "There's no other way to put it. Just locate better. That's the single most important aspect of pitching. I wasn't able to do that, and I got exposed. Just gotta locate better, find a way to locate better."

"When you're bouncing some fastballs, it just means you're not commanding the baseball, and you have to at this level, because you're not going to get away with it," Melvin said. "Or you may get away with it but you're not going to sustain it, especially for a starter."

During the A's 0-6 trip, their starters pitched past the fourth inning just three times.

"It's tough, because it's one thing to cover three innings," Melvin said, "and another to cover basically the entire game less three innings or so, so it puts pressure on everybody."

Particularly in several close games, the A's blew late leads and lost four contests by two or fewer runs -- the result of myriad bullpen blunders and the inability to tack on more runs despite several opportunities to do so.

"Pretty frustrating," third baseman Matt Chapman said. "To go 0-6 is not the way we envision a road trip going, obviously. A lot of tight ballgames we just couldn't seem to come out on top of, so we're going to go home and get to work."

Worth Noting

Jake Smolinski, who underwent right shoulder surgery in March, made his season debut in the ninth inning, singling as a pinch-hitter in his first Major League at-bat of 2017.

Jane Lee has covered the A's for MLB.com since 2010. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.