TORONTO -- After suffering four straight losses with an offense gone cold, the A's say it's too early for soul searching or a crisis of confidence.
After a 3-1 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays in Sunday's series finale, the key to regaining momentum might be as simple as returning home and regrouping.
"To play a long, even game in Tampa and get in a 2 a.m. and turn around play a night game (followed by two day games), it's tough," catcher Derek Norris said. "A lot of guys, I know, are a little bit sleep deprived. ... But that's the way it goes sometimes. Other teams have to battle, too."
Toronto opened the scoring in the fourth inning, when Edwin Encarnacion launched a fastball from A's starter Drew Pomeranz high into the left field stands.
The following inning two singles and a walk loaded the bases, chased Pomeranz from the game and brought up Jose Bautista, who stroked a single off reliever Jim Johnson.
Kevin Pillar scored to push the Blue Jays' lead to 2-0, but an on-target throw from left fielder Yoenis Cespedes nailed Jose Reyes at the plate. The Blue Jays added a third run in the seventh, when Reyes scored on Bautista's sacrifice fly.
Oakland scored in the eighth, when Josh Donaldson drove a Dustin McGowan fastball 420 feet over center field fence. Donaldson's homer represented all the A's offense Sunday, and highlighted the problem that has plagued them all week.
Heading into Friday the A's averaged a league-high 5.1 runs a game, and by Sunday morning had the seventh fewest strikeouts (346).
But on Sunday, Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ struck out seven in seven innings. And over the three-game series, Oakland managed just five runs. In the six games since the start of their series against Tampa Bay, the A's have averaged just 2.2 runs a game.
The A's offensive slump arrived as they tackled a Blue Jays team that has ridden a monthlong hot streak to the top of the American League East. Toronto has scored first in nine of its last 10 games, going 9-1 over that span.
"Teams have caught us when we're hot," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We caught them when they're hot, and they handed it to us."
Pomeranz entered Sunday with a minuscule 0.94 ERA and a 15-inning shutout streak, but he faltered in the fourth and fifth innings. Encarnacion's homer ended the scoreless streak at 18 innings, and the Blue Jays threatened to score more, loading the bases before an inning-ending double play.
"I might have tried to locate (pitches) a little too much instead of going right at guys," Pomeranz said. "I ended up walking too many people and being in bad counts a lot."
Detroit (Drew Smyly 2-2) at A's (Tommy Milone 2-3), 1:05 p.m. CSNCA