TORONTO -- The pendulum finally swung the other way for the A's, who might have forgotten what it was like to be on the wrong end of a laugher.
Tommy Milone served up two home runs and made a costly throwing error as Oakland fell 10-4 to the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday at the Rogers Centre.
The loss snapped the A's seven-game winning streak and was just their third defeat in 19 games in July. It was a rare stumble for a team that has done remarkably little wrong for the better part of two months, and it was the first time the A's allowed double-digit runs since May 10, when Detroit scored 10.
The A's won two out of three in Toronto and sustained the momentum they built during a 5-1 homestand against the Texas Rangers and the New York Yankees.
"I think anytime you take two out of three on the road you have to consider it a success," A's manager Bob Melvin said.
Now Oakland, a major-league-best 31-15 since June 1, moves on to an important three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards.
The A's (53-45) lead the race for the A.L.'s second wild-card spot, with the Detroit Tigers a half-game behind and the Orioles 11/2 games off the pace.
After pounding the Blue Jays 7-2 and 16-0 in the first two games of the series, the A's jumped to a 3-0 lead in the finale on Josh Reddick's solo home run and Brandon Inge's two-run shot, but they couldn't sustain it.
Milone is 5-1 with a major-league-low
He didn't allow a runner through the first three innings, displaying what Melvin said was probably his best stuff all season. But with two runners on in the fourth, he caught too much of the plate with a 2-2 cutter, and Edwin Encarnacion knocked it over the wall in left-center for a three-run homer to tie the score.
"He's the one guy that you don't want to back yourself into a corner with on that team," Melvin said.
Milone (9-7), who has a 3.51 ERA, has allowed 17 of his 18 home runs on the road -- only Seattle's Jason Vargas has given up more long balls away from home.
Melvin downplayed those home/road splits, pointing out that Milone has turned in solid outings away from the pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum. But Milone conceded that he feels more comfortable in his home ballpark.
"It being so big, that's why I'm more comfortable there," he said. "Obviously you always like pitching at home more than on the road."
The A's jumped ahead 4-3 on Reddick's fielder's-choice grounder that scored Jemile Weeks in the fifth. But Milone had runners on second and third with one out in the sixth when Travis Snider laid down a safety squeeze bunt to the third-base side.
Colby Rasmus scored the tying run, and when Milone's off-balance throw to first was wild, Brett Lawrie also scored to give Toronto a 5-4 lead.
"I saw the runner out of the corner of my eye, and it looked like he'd be safe (at home) anyway," Milone said. "I kind of did a turn and throw at the same time, and I didn't pick up my target."
Kelly Johnson's solo shot off Milone in the seventh extended the lead, and then Toronto broke it open with four in the eighth off relievers Sean Doolittle and Evan Scribner.
Doolittle came in with a 131/3-inning scoreless streak but was charged with four runs in two-thirds of an inning.
The A's are contemplating whether to deal some of their young pitchers for a hitter before Tuesday's trade deadline, and Peacock, 24, has drawn interest from other clubs. He is 8-7 but with a 6.25 ERA.
The A's are looking for help on the left side of the infield, with Toronto's Yunel Escobar and Arizona's Stephen Drew among potential shortstop targets. Another intriguing option is former A's infielder Marco Scutaro, a fan favorite now with the Colorado Rockies.
Scutaro has played second base this season but has substantial experience at shortstop. He is hitting .271 with four homers and 30 RBIs and is owed about $2.3 million through the rest of this season before hitting free agency.