OAKLAND -- Maybe it was just a bad case of the Mondays for the A's, an off night of sorts.
Then again, perhaps much of their performance in a 4-0 shutout loss to the White Sox was all too typical.
The pitching was there, the offense not so much. And the defense? Well that unfortunately also fell into the latter category when "it just got sloppy," as Jemile Weeks characterized it.
Bartolo Colon naturally threw his fair share of strikes, tallying 20 in a row at one point, after tossing 38 consecutively five days prior. Overall, 63 of his 89 pitches were deemed strikes through seven innings, but the only two that mattered were thrown in the fourth.
Having held the White Sox hitless through the first three innings, Colon opened the frame by allowing back-to-back home runs to Adam Dunn and Paul Konerko, loud shots that were followed by silence, as right-hander Jake Peavy held the A's to just three hits in notching the sixth shutout and 10th complete game of his career.
Peavy was surely exceptional, but Melvin also noted, "I didn't think our approach was great."
"Every time it looks like we get over a hump and have a good offensive day," Melvin said, "we then have a bad offensive day, and that was the case."
"You want to get consistent," Weeks said. "I think we're right on the cusp of doing it. Right now we're on and off, and if we can get it going for a few days, I think we'll be more fluent in our offense."
Oakland had a chance to score in the fourth, when Weeks led off with a base hit and Seth Smith followed with a walk. But Josh Reddick's ensuing double-play grounder and Yoenis Cespedes' popup behind the plate ended the frame.
Cespedes tallied the second hit of the night, courtesy of a one-out double in the seventh, but was also stranded as Kila Ka'aihue and Smith quickly grounded out.
"That lineup is scrappy," said Peavy. "I made some good pitches early and was aggressive early and getting those two homers early was nice."
By that time, Colon had left the game, ultimately taking a loss he didn't necessarily deserve, given his body of work following the homers. The veteran righty, who has pitched at least seven innings in each of his four starts, allowed just five other hits, with two strikeouts and three walks.
The fourth-inning home runs snapped a streak of 18 straight scoreless innings by Colon, who said through translator Ariel Prieto he simply left two fastballs up for grabs in the middle of the plate.
"Other than that, similar to what we've seen," Melvin said. "A lot of strikes. Not 38 in a row, but a lot of strikes. You give up two to that team, and certainly you're giving your team a chance to win."
Behind him, newcomer Luke Hughes made two throwing errors from third base, making for a rough end to an already challenging day that had the infielder up at 6 a.m. for a 9 a.m. flight out of Minneapolis that was ultimately delayed more than four hours. Hughes didn't arrive at the Coliseum until 4:30 p.m.
"It's been a long day," said the Australian-born Hughes, playing on four hours of sleep. "Obviously a bit disappointing after what happened today, so I'll get some rest and get back out there tomorrow."
Elsewhere in the field, Weeks bobbled a ball near the second-base bag, elongating Chicago's two-run ninth that saw eight White Sox batters step to the plate. Weeks wasn't charged with an error on the play, but he recognized he was very much a part of an overall weak defensive show.
"We could have communicated better in the infield, everybody including myself," Weeks said. "I think you work from there. A lot of the plays were communication. That's just one thing we gotta have. We're putting in the work to get it right, and tonight just wasn't a good night."