David Ortiz's milestone 400th home run became one of the few bright spots for Boston on a disappointing 2-5 road trip out West.
Next up is the New York Yankees in a four-game weekend set, and the Red Sox hardly have the momentum they'd hoped for to face their AL East rival in an always-emotional series.
Ortiz hit his 400th homer with a leadoff drive to right in the fourth inning against Oakland starter A.J. Griffin, yet Boston managed little else in losing to the Athletics 3-2 on Wednesday and leaving town with a sweep to carry for the long flight home.
"Our offense has just been terrible," right fielder Cody Ross said. "I don't need to sugarcoat it. It just (stunk) basically. Our pitchers have been pitching their butts off to keep us in games and we just can't seem to push a run across."
After a tough day, Ortiz returned to the clubhouse to some 40 congratulatory messages.
"And my phone is still blowing up," he said. "I know at some point in my career when I'm not playing baseball I might look at it from the outside and be like, 'Whoa, I guess I had a good career.' I look at it right now as just another home run."
The 36-year-old Big Papi's home runs rank eighth among active players and 49th on the all-time list. Next up for him to catch: Hall of Famer Duke Snider with 407.