SEATTLE – In the words of shortstop Jed Lowrie, the A's "need to take a deep breath."
The A's on Sunday followed their recent pattern of falling behind early, then collecting too little offense en route to a dispiriting 6-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field.
The A's don't want to be seen as dispirited. They are down, to be sure, after a 10-game road trip that began with two wins in three tries in Yankee Stadium but finished with a 3-7 record, sending Oakland under .500 at 19-20. But dispirited is not in the vocabulary.
"We've got to keep our heads up," third baseman Josh Donaldson said. "It will turn for us. It will change."
History suggests Donaldson is correct.
At the same time, the A's are returning to O.co Coliseum today with four key players on the disabled list and the first-place team in the American League West – the Texas Rangers – due in for a three-game series.
The A's would love to have outfielders Coco Crisp, Chris Young, Josh Reddick and starter Brett Anderson available for this one, but that's not going to happen, except possibly for Wednesday's series finale when Young and maybe Crisp could come off the disabled list.
Lowrie, who had six hits in the series, including a couple of doubles, said the formula isn't any different now than it ever is.
"The guys have to go out there and trust each other," Lowrie said. "We have to let the game come to us. What does that mean? It means that each of us has to fight the feeling that we've got to shoulder the load along, fight the feeling that you have to do something right now."
Or, as Donaldson put it, the A's have to continue to play hard and believe that good things will happen.
"When we play our good all-around game, we are going to win most of the time," Donaldson said. "When we do what we did today and are lacking in two of the three critical areas (pitching and offense in addition to defense), that's not going to work."
The A's had any number of trouble areas on this trip. The offense hit a collective .210. The pitchers had a cumulative 4.55 earned run average. The defense was substandard, too, more through plays that could (or should) have been made than through errors.
Oakland did have a chance to pull off a 4-6 road trip with a win Sunday, and after a five-game losing streak, that would have been some solace.
But starter Tommy Milone, who has now lost five consecutive starts after beginning the season 3-0, was ripped for a three-run homer by Kendrys Morales in the first inning, and the A's were never close to catching the Mariners.
"The road trip obviously did not go the way we wanted it to," Milone said. "We can take something from it, especially the series in New York. It was a long one, but we're going home."