By the numbers, Chris Carter's one-week stint with the A's didn't offer much of a glimpse into the future of the team's heralded prospect.
That's what the A's hope, anyway.
With Conor Jackson ready to come off the disabled list, Carter was sent back to Triple-A Sacramento on Monday. The A's offense didn't respond much differently, managing only one hit -- Jackson's solo homer -- in a 3-1 loss to Shaun Marcum and the Toronto Blue Jays at the Oakland Coliseum.
The move ended Carter's brief debut in Oakland, which lasted a week and six games. The slugger went 0 for 19 with nine strikeouts and reached base one time on a walk.
"He has his feet wet now, and he gets to go back and continue his progress and next time he comes back here, I think it'll be a lot easier for him," A's manager Bob Geren said before the game. "I think the, 'What is it like?' type syndrome is out of his head now, he knows exactly what to expect and what he needs to continue to work on down there."
Carter's demotion also served as a subplot to the A's recent struggles. They continued to lack any offensive rhythm, a trend compounded by Marcum's dominant performance. Marcum needed just 103 pitches to finish off his masterpiece, keeping the A's quiet after a six-game road trip that produced just 11 runs.
Their one-hit output also carried some history with it. The A's have collected just seven hits over the past three games, their fewest over a three-game
"Granted, he's a guy that doesn't throw very hard but he's got a lot of movement, he's got a great changeup and he's going to come after you," A's outfielder Travis Buck said of Marcum. "Talking to the guys in the dugout, we felt like we were putting good swings on the ball, we just weren't finding the barrel."
Buck also was recalled before the game and went 0 for 3 in his first action with the A's since April 20.
Jackson offered the night's lone highlight for the A's, breaking up Marcum's no-hit bid in the seventh by driving the first pitch of the inning over the left-center field fence. It was Jackson's first home run in his 15th game with the A's since being acquired in June.
The lack of offense made a loser out of Brett Anderson (3-4), who allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings.
"It wasn't too bad, but it wasn't great by any means. My command was shaky at best," Anderson said. "To have a quality start with two earned runs in six innings on a day when your stuff is just OK, you'll take that."
Said Geren after the game: "The pitching is as good as it can get right now and unfortunately, we're collectively struggling offensively. It's tough, but that being said, we're still in the game. If we were to bust out, even just one inning, we could win these games."
While the A's were trying to find their offense, the Blue Jays waited until the fourth inning to do what they do best. Jose Bautista gave Toronto a 1-0 lead with his majors-leading 37th homer, and Edwin Encarnacion added two more with his home run to left an inning later. Jose Molina also tied his career-high with four hits for the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays have hit 183 home runs this season, 22 more than the Boston Red Sox, baseball's next-closest team.
Toronto (Brandon Morrow 9-6) at A's (Dallas Braden 7-8), 7:05 p.m., CSNCA