Zach Neto's 3-run double keys Angels to a 5-2 win over Oakland and a series sweep

ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Zach Neto had a tiebreaking three-run double in the sixth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Oakland Athletics 5-2 Wednesday to sweep their three-game series.

Max Schuemann had an early RBI double that should have driven in two runs for the A’s, but Kyle McCann was called out in bizarre fashion when he failed to touch home plate and then made contact with teammate Armando Alvarez, who had already scored.

“I've never seen anything like that,” said Angels manager Ron Washington, who has spent a half-century in pro baseball. “There was no play at home plate! There's no reason to miss home plate, none at all. You could have walked from third base and touched home, but I'm glad he didn't.”

McCann followed Alvarez home to score on Schuemann’s double off Roansy Contreras in the second inning, but McCann stumbled approaching home — apparently after deciding not to slide at the last minute — and failed to step on the plate as he crossed it.

McCann nearly ran into Alvarez, who instinctively reached out to steady him and to encourage him to go back to touch the plate, which he did.

Plate umpire John Bacon immediately called McCann out, because a player isn’t allowed to assist another player who’s still running the bases.

“I recognize that the umpire made no call as he came across the plate the first time,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. “Understood the call that he was making in terms of the assistance from Alvarez into McCann, pushing him back towards home plate, which I know you can’t do. But I wanted them to know I was just challenging to verify whether he touched the plate. Replay came back with what he thought he saw, and unfortunately he just didn’t touch the plate.”

Video review confirmed McCann had missed the plate on his first try, and the out ended the inning.

“It’s a big play, obviously,” Kotsay said. “Talking to the player, he was anticipating sliding, and that’s what he should have done. If you’ve got that thought, you’ve got to slide. These are things we need to clean up. It’s a mental error more than a physical error. It’s part of the process these guys go through here, and unfortunately it cost us a run, and cost us an opportunity to continue to add on in that inning and open that game up.”

Los Angeles still trailed 1-0 until its five-run sixth. Matt Thaiss added an RBI double for the Angels, who have won four of five after just their third series sweep of the season.

Joey Estes (2-3) gave up three hits and struck out eight while pitching into the sixth inning for the A’s, who have lost five straight and 18 of 23. The right-hander walked two and remained winless in his past four starts.

Schuemann drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in the ninth inning for Oakland, which has lost 11 consecutive road games.

Contreras yielded just one run on four hits and two walks over three innings in his first start for the Angels, who acquired him from Pittsburgh earlier this season.

Matt Moore (4-2) pitched the sixth for Los Angeles, which has improved to 12-10 in June after a rough start to the season.

Los Angeles’ sixth-inning rally began with Luis Rengifo’s leadoff single off Estes. Two Angels drew walks to load the bases before Austin Adams hit Mickey Moniak with a pitch to force in the tying run.

Neto drove a double to the wall in left moments later, clearing the bases with his latest clutch hit off Adams. Neto had struck out and popped out in his first two at-bats, and he was watching those plate appearances on an iPad in the dugout when Washington told him to simply take a comfortable swing next time.

“I took that into my next at-bat, which just happened to be that three-RBI double, and I just kept moving from there,” Neto said. “I was a little frustrated with myself, so just trying to get out of that, get out of my head, and hearing that from somebody else was great.”

Thaiss drove in Neto with his double on the next pitch.


Angels: The injuries to Patrick Sandoval and Jose Soriano have forced Los Angeles to recall Davis Daniel from the minors for a fill-in start Thursday.


Athletics: JP Sears (4-7, 5.04 ERA) makes his 17th start of the season when Oakland opens a weekend series at Arizona on Friday.

Angels: Daniel will make his season debut and his first major league start in the opener of a four-game series against Burbank native Jack Flaherty and the Detroit Tigers.