Oakland thought it regained some momentum when it took two of three from the American League West-rival Angels early last week, before only winning one in Chicago.
In traveling to Kansas City, the A's continue their stretch of 12 straight games against the AL Central, looking to improve their fortunes against the Royals. The teams split six previous meetings this season.
"I think it's a team that matched up well against us," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "Their numbers wouldn't suggest they're that good offensively, but you look up and down their lineup, there are guys you have to deal with. Hosmer's not having a good year, but he certainly feels like a good offensive player to me, and then you have to deal with their bullpen, too.
"That's a team that's played us tough, and I think nothing's changed as far as that goes."
Though most clubs are happy to return home after a road trip, Kansas City might not fall in that category.
Manager Ned Yost's team has gone just 21-32 at home, but the momentum gained from a winning trip to Chicago and Baltimore could help the Royals turn around their fortunes at Kauffman Stadium.
"We can be successful at home, too, we just have to play better," Yost said. "And we're playing pretty good now. We're also playing a couple of pretty tough teams at home."
With the A's having lost five of their last eight games, perhaps the Royals are catching them at the right time.
A's: Inge hopes to return on Tuesday
Third baseman Brandon Inge is hoping that two days' rest will be enough to heal his right shoulder, which he dislocated during Saturday night's game against the White Sox. That's about the amount of time that Inge, who will fly to Oakland on Monday for an MRI, has missed in the past on the several occasions that he's dislocated his left shoulder, though the fact that this time it's his throwing shoulder could complicate that recovery schedule.
The A's will send rookie Jarrod Parker to the mound to start Tuesday against the Royals. The right-hander hasn't been at his best in recent outings. After going 5-3 with a 2.46 ERA in his first 13 starts, Parker is just 2-3 with a 5.94 ERA over his last six. He hasn't faced Kansas City in his young career.
Royals: Guthrie looking to stay strong
Though his overall numbers this season aren't very good, right-hander Jeremy Guthrie (4-12, 6.10 ERA) has something to build on after his last two starts. Guthrie, who'll take the mound for the Royals on Tuesday, threw a quality start against the powerful Rangers on Aug. 3 before shutting out the White Sox over eight innings last Wednesday.
"That arguably could be the best-pitched game we had all year," Yost said after Guthrie's last start. "He was in total control."
A's right-hander Brandon McCarthy appears as if he'll be able to make his next scheduled start on Wednesday against the Royals. McCarthy, who pitched on Friday, has missed time on several occasions this season with right shoulder soreness, which has arisen in between outings.
Entering Sunday's action, Royals left-hander Tim Collins led all qualifying AL relievers with 74 strikeouts.