It appeared Oakland had gained some critical momentum last week when it won a series against the American League West Division-leading Rangers, shutting down Texas's potent lineup in three of the four games.
Then the A's went to Arizona.
Oakland got swept over the weekend in its three-game series with the Diamondbacks, manager Bob Melvin's former team, and continues its Interleague road trip trying to turn things around against the Rockies. Pitching improvement will be especially key -- Melvin's arms allowed 21 runs over the three games against Arizona. The team found itself on the wrong end of some close calls as well.
"It is what it is," catcher Kurt Suzuki said after Saturday's 3-8 loss. "It's not an easy job. Those borderline ones are going to go either way, some tough calls. Unfortunately, we were on the opposite end of where we wanted to be."
The good news for the A's? Their opponent for the next three games is struggling even more than they are. The Rockies have lost five in a row, and were also swept over the weekend in three games against the Angels.
Pitching, too, has been the main culprit for Colorado, as the team has surrendered 44 runs during its five-game winless streak. But the team's woes in that area have been a season-long problem. The Rockies go into Tuesday's game ranking last in the Major Leagues with a 5.24 ERA.
And in sending right-hander Jeremy Guthrie to the mound, Colorado won't exactly have an ideal stopper. Guthrie was hit hard in his last start, allowing seven runs and 11 hits in just 3 1/3 innings last Tuesday against the Diamondbacks.
Guthrie has allowed at least five earned runs in three of his last four starts, and his spot in the Rockies' rotation is looking more and more tenuous.
"I don't take anything for granted," Guthrie said after his last start. "If they kicked me off the team today, it wouldn't surprise me. I haven't earned a spot here. I haven't pitched very well."
A's: Colon hoping to shut down Rockies
Right-hander Bartolo Colon is coming off one of his best outings of the season, as he allowed no runs over eight innings last Wednesday against Texas. His effort helped Oakland saddle the Rangers with their first shutout of the season, and Colon has allowed just two runs in 15 innings in his two June starts.
Outfielder Yoenis Cespedes could return to game action on Tuesday for the first time since straining his left hamstring on Thursday against the Rangers. Though he most likely won't start, Melvin said on Sunday that he could pinch-hit during the three games in Colorado.
Rockies: Nelson improving at the plate
Though he went 0-for-4 in Sunday's series finale against the Angels, Colorado infielder Chris Nelson has been hot since his June 1 return from a left-wrist injury, going 4-for-10 before Sunday, after hitting .219 before landing on the disabled list.
The Rockies have the best record in Interleague Play since 2006 at 56-43, but have gone 0-6 so far this season.
The A's are 1-5 in Interleague Play this season.