The hole the Athletics have dug for themselves keeps getting deeper.
The A's lost to the San Diego Padres 7-4 at Petco Park on Tuesday night, while up in Seattle, the AL West-leading Houston Astros beat the Mariners 8-6.
Those two outcomes push Houston's lead in the division to six games over the A's and seven over the Mariners. Oakland still holds the second AL Wild Card spot, but Seattle and the New York Yankees are breathing down their necks.
The A's had a legitimate chance to keep their AL West deficit at five games, but they weren't able to sustain a strong start against the Padres in the first game of the series
The A's jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the third inning against Padres starter Chris Paddack. Matt Olson got the scoring started with a sacrifice fly, and Jed Lowrie and Sean Murphy added to the lead with RBI hits.
But the A's weren't able to score again until the eighth inning when Murphy crushed a solo homer.
In between, the Padres erupted for seven runs, highlighted by homers from Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado, putting the game out of reach by the time Murphy went deep.
The A's finished the game 3-for-12 with runners in scoring position, with two of those hits coming in the three-run third inning, and failed to add on to the lead.
"Well, for the most part, the stretch we've been in, it's either been no capitalizing and getting a big hit with guys on base and/or have an inning like we did tonight, and then not being able to add on some runs as the game went along," A's manager Bob Melvin told reporters after the game. "Now, you get the starter out of the game and they had all their best relievers ready to come in, so it gets a little bit tougher as that goes.
"But another hit with guys on could make it a different ballgame."
The A's, losers of four straight, are in desperate need of a spark, whether that comes from a lively team meeting, Sean Manaea playing the role of stopper Wednesday in San Diego, or a big trade before Friday's deadline.
Something has to get this A's team going, or the deficit in the West will be too much to overcome.