Angels finish off sweep of reeling A's

Anaheim, CA ( - Matt Shoemaker extended an outstanding run of pitching for the red-hot Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who further distanced themselves from the fading Oakland Athletics with an 8-1 rout that completed a four-game series sweep.

Shoemaker (14-4) followed up Jered Weaver's seven-inning gem on Friday and a three-hit shutout from eight Anaheim hurlers on Saturday by firing seven scoreless frames. The 28-year-old rookie yielded just five hits and fanned seven to win his fifth consecutive start.

Mike Trout and Chris Iannetta provided the offense in the Angels' sixth straight victory, which increased their lead over Oakland to five games in the American League West. Trout went 2-for-4 with a homer and three RBI, with Iannetta collecting three hits that included a solo home run.

"The pitching and timely hitting have both been amazing," said Trout of the Angels' hot streak. "Our team chemistry is unbelievable."

The Angels are now 15-4 since Aug. 12, while the A's have gone 6-14 since Aug. 10 and have dropped four in a row. They managed only a single run over the last three tests of this set.

Oakland did make an effort to bolster its lineup prior to the contest, acquiring veteran designated hitter/first baseman Adam Dunn from the Chicago White Sox for minor league pitcher Nolan Sanburn.

Oakland didn't get much on the mound from Scott Kazmir (14-7) either, as the lefty lasted only 1 1/3 innings and was rocked for six runs while walking four.

"This was embarrassing, pathetic. This is the worst I've seen them play over the last three years," a frustrated A's manager Bob Melvin said afterward. "I felt bad for our fans that watched it. We can't play like that. [The players] all should be embarrassed."

While Shoemaker began the game by setting down nine of the first 11 Oakland hitters, Kazmir encountered all sorts of trouble as the Angels quickly broke things open in the bottom of the second inning.

A Josh Hamilton single and a walk to Howie Kendrick put two aboard for Erick Aybar, who ripped a base hit to left as Hamilton beat the throw home for the first run of the day.

Kazmir then unraveled, walking Iannetta, Gordon Beckham and Kole Calhoun in succession to force in two more runs and prompt his removal. Dan Otero entered in relief and was greeted by Trout's two-run single to center and a groundout from Albert Pujols that plated Calhoun for a 6-0 advantage.

Shoemaker held the A's sputtering offense squarely in check over the rest of his outing. Oakland's lone run came after Mike Morin relieved Shoemaker to start the eighth and walked Sam Fuld prior to serving up an RBI single to Josh Reddick.

"When Matt is on the mound he thinks he's Nolan Ryan," said Angels manager Mike Scioscia. "He's got confidence, he's got good stuff and he's on a roll."

That score came in between solo blasts from Trout and Iannetta, with Trout connecting off Jesse Chavez in the seventh and Iannetta reaching the seats against Evan Scribner in the eighth.

Game Notes

Aybar's RBI single extended his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games, during which he's hit .458 (27-for-59) ... Shoemaker has now thrown 23 2/3 consecutive scoreless innings and his 14 wins tied an Angels season record by a rookie, a mark also held by Dean Chance (1962), Marcelino Lopez (1965) and Frank Tanana (1974) ... Kazmir surrendered seven runs on 10 hits in just three innings during a loss to the Angels last Sunday as well ... Josh Donaldson and Derek Norris each had two of Oakland's six hits.