After their best road start in 26 years came to a halt in Toronto, the Oakland Athletics could find it hard to get back on track during the last stop on their trip.
Jordan Zimmermann stands in their way Monday night looking to extend the longest scoreless streak by a new Detroit Tigers starter while helping them avoid a fifth consecutive defeat in the opener of a four-game series.
Oakland had batted .276 while averaging 5.2 runs over the last six of a 7-0 road start that was the franchise's best since winning its first eight in 1990. The club was also getting outstanding pitching with a 1.91 ERA over that same stretch.
All that changed in the last two north of the border as the Blue Jays outscored the A's by a combined 15-6 to take the series. Josh Reddick, Khris Davis and Chris Coghlan each had solo home runs, but the A's managed just two other hits in Sunday's 6-3 defeat.
"Obviously we're frustrated but we're 4-2 on this (10-game) road trip and we're looking to finish it above .500 in Detroit," Stephen Vogt said.
Zimmermann, however, has had little trouble adjusting to the AL after signing with Detroit (8-9) following a seven-year stint with Washington. He's struck out 15 while limiting batters to a .211 average over 19 1-3 scoreless innings during a 3-0 start.
The right-hander scattered seven hits and fanned eight over 6 1-3 innings in Wednesday's 3-2 win at Kansas City. He became the first pitcher in Detroit history to begin a season with three consecutive outings of six or more scoreless innings.
The two-time All-Star also has posted the most consecutive shutout innings to begin a Tigers tenure since Doug Bair threw 19 1-3 after a trade from St. Louis in 1983.
"It's just a number," Zimmermann told the league's official website of his streak. "I just try to go out there and put up zeros and keep the game close. I try to go with a bend-but-don't-break mentality, and I've been able to do that the last few games."
Zimmerman has never faced the A's, though Coghlan was 2 for 6 with a double off him last season. Yonder Alonso is 3 for 10 with a home run lifetime in the matchup.
The A's hope to get the offense going for Kendall Graveman (1-1, 2.04 ERA). The right-hander allowed two runs or less for a third straight start Wednesday, giving up one and striking out eight over 6 1-3 innings in a 5-2 win at Yankee Stadium.
In his only meeting with Detroit, Graveman surrendered three runs over six innings in a 5-3 win that began Oakland's three-game sweep at Comerica Park from June 2-4.
The Tigers are struggling offensively, totaling five runs with a .144 average over a four-game losing streak. Victor Martinez and J.D. Martinez teamed for four of the seven hits Sunday when the Tigers lost for the seventh time in nine games, 6-3 to Cleveland.
Justin Upton is 1 for 12 during the skid and Miguel Cabrera has gone 0 for 11. Cabrera is also just 6 for 26 (.231) over his last seven games against the A's (10-9).
Oakland infielder Jed Lowrie hopes to return after missing Sunday's game with a calf injury.