CLEVELAND -- These four losses in Cleveland aren't likely to be games the A's will forget that easily.
They have to put the travails behind them, yes. But forget them? No.
Thursday afternoon's 9-2 loss, which followed in the wake of a hotly contested non-homer judgment that went against Oakland on Wednesday night, shoved the A's back down to .500. And it led to the question of whether or not there was a hangover from Wednesday to Thursday.
"There was a cloud over us given what had happened," manager Bob Melvin said. "But I'd hate to think it affected us as a team."
The A's thought they had a game-tying ninth-inning homer Wednesday. When they didn't get the call from the umpires on Adam Rosales's fly just over the left-field wall, they asked for a video review. They got the review but didn't get the result they wanted and wound up losing 4-3.
Sixteen hours later they were on the field again. Two Indians batters into the game against the A's Bartolo Colon, Jason Kipnis hit a ball just about where Rosales did, only there was no question it was a home run. And Cleveland raced off to a 5-0 lead after two innings and never looked back.
"I don't think there was any carryover," Josh Donaldson said. The A's third baseman singled, walked and homered. "This team is too resistant to that kind of thing. This was just one of those days when they took it to us."
Colon said he was as in turmoil about the bad call by umpire Angel Hernandez and his crew as anyone Wednesday. Come Thursday, however, it was not part of his equation.
"Today was a new day," Colon said through interpreter Ariel Prieto. "What happened last night had nothing to do with today."
Thursday wasn't good for Colon or the A's. He gave up six runs in four innings, after which the game was basically out of reach. The A's made two errors, they gave up three homers, and they had just one hit with a runner in scoring position.
And that basically mirrored the series in which the Indians out-homered the A's 9-2, in which Oakland made six errors and in which the A's went 4 for 20 (.200) with runners in scoring position.
"They're playing great. They could do nothing wrong," Melvin said of the Indians. "We're struggling. We just played badly all the way around this series. We're not proud of the way we played."
The difference was that the A's were basically competitive in the first three games of the series and not at all competitive Thursday. Yes, the A's loaded the bases with no one out down 9-2 in the eighth inning, but Oakland didn't get the ball out of the infield and didn't score again.
"This series is tough to swallow," Rosales said. "All we can do is do our best to learn from it and grow from it. It's a long season, and we'll bounce back."
The A's are up against it in several ways. They lead the major leagues in runs scored, but it's an all-or-nothing-at-all offense. They have scored 179 runs, 140 of which have come in their 18 wins (7.7 runs per game). In their 18 losses they've scored 39 runs (2.17). That 5.5 differential is beyond Jekyll vs. Hyde.
The starting pitching on which the bedrock of the team is formed hasn't resembled the starting work the A's got last year. In the 36 games, the starters are 12-18 with a 4.88 ERA.
The disabled list is getting overtime work with Coco Crisp, Chris Young, Brett Anderson and Josh Reddick currently among those in residence.
There are other issues, smaller, but also crucial. The defense has been spotty. The pinch-hitting (2 for 34) is the worst in the big leagues. Outside of the A.L. West the club is 5-15.
The upside? This week in Cleveland was just four games. And it's over. The A's head back to the A.L. West with three games this weekend in Seattle.
He flew Thursday to San Antonio to join Double-A Midland, for whom he will pitch Sunday in an injury rehabilitation assignment start.
"It's good to take the next step toward getting back," Anderson said before leaving.