ANAHEIM, Calif. -- It was more than just a sweep. It was how the Los Angeles Angels took four games from the Oakland A's over the weekend, concluding with Sunday's 8-1 win at Angel Stadium.
The Angels thoroughly dominated the reeling A's, outscoring them 18-4 in the series.
On Sunday, it was Matt Shoemaker blanking the A's on five hits over seven innings, improving to 14-4 and extending his personal scoreless-innings streak to 23 1/3 innings.
Among the many milestones Shoemaker has reached this season, his most recent three-game stretch stands out. He joined Nolan Ryan as the only pitchers in Angels history to have three consecutive starts of at least seven innings without allowing a run.
"When he's on that mound, he thinks he's Nolan Ryan," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He pitches with confidence and he's not afraid to get that fastball in the zone. He changes speeds with his split, his slider, his curveball. Shoe is just getting an opportunity and he's making the most of it. He's certainly been on a roll for, well, this whole season, really."
The Angels pitching staff shut out the A's for 29 consecutive innings, a streak broken when right fielder Josh Reddick hit an RBI single with one out in the eighth against reliever Mike Morin. The A's had not scored since the sixth inning last Thursday in the first game of the series.
The Angels increased their American League West lead over the A's to a season-high five games, and improved to 83-53, tied for their best record in club history through 136 games. They also did it in 2008, on their way to a club-record 100 wins.
They put this one away early, scoring six runs in the second inning. In the process, they knocked out not only A's starter Scott Kazmir but also manager Bob Melvin, who was ejected for arguing balls and strikes after Kazmir walked three in a row.
Melvin then watched the game on television in the manager's office in the visiting clubhouse, and he did not like what he saw. He held a closed-door postgame meeting with his team after the game, then unloaded on them to reporters.
"Embarrassing," Melvin said, still in uniform. "Pathetic. We don't play like that. The last three games here are the worst I've seen this team play in I can't remember how long. I feel bad for our fans to have to watch that.
"The reason I'm that upset is because that's not who we are. It's not who we've been for three years. And for the last, I don't know how long, it's mounted, it's frustrating. But the last three games for us have not been who we are. At all. It's embarrassing. They all should be embarrassed."
The Angels had only eight hits, but made the most of them. Center fielder Mike Trout had two hits and three RBIs, including his 31st home run of the season, a career high. Catcher Chris Iannetta went 3-for-3 with a walk and a home run.
For the Angels, though, it has been all about the pitching.
Shoemaker improved to 6-1 with a 1.31 ERA in August, joining Dean Chance as only pitchers in Angels history to win six games in August. Chance did it in 1964, the year he was the Cy Young Award.
Shoemaker is the first pitcher in the majors to win six games in August since the Astros' Andy Pettitte did it in 2007.
"It's so much fun," Shoemaker said. "It's such a good group of guys; we have such a great team. To be able to contribute on top of that, it's a blast.
"It's a huge series for us, but we've got a month left. We're not done."
The Angels' big second inning began when left fielder Josh Hamilton led off with a single and advanced to second when second baseman Howie Kendrick walked. One out later, shortstop Erick Aybar extended his career-best hitting streak to 16 games with an RBI single.
That is when Kazmir lost the strike zone, first walking Iannetta to load the bases, then walking both third baseman Gordon Beckham and right fielder Kole Calhoun to force home the second and third runs of the inning.
Melvin came out with the hook for Kazmir, but that's when Melvin was taken out of the game as well, ejected by plate umpire Gerry Davis for arguing balls and strikes.
The Angels were not done yet, though, as Trout followed with a two-run single, and first baseman Albert Pujols had an RBI groundout, giving the Angels and Shoemaker a 6-0 lead.
Kazmir (14-7) gave up six runs on two hits and four walks in 1 1/3 innings.
Trout and Iannetta hit solo home runs in the seventh and eighth innings, respectively.
As good as the Angels feel about the sweep, their place in the standings and how they're playing, they cautioned that they still have work to do.
"We're having fun," Trout said. "We're winning ballgames, but we can't get too excited yet. There's a lot of baseball to play."
NOTES: The A's acquired 1B/DH Adam Dunn -- just hours before the trading deadline -- from the Chicago White Sox in a trade for minor league RHP Nolan Sanburn. Dunn, 34, hit .220 with 20 homers, 54 RBIs, a .340 on-base percentage and a .433 slugging percentage for the White Sox. ... Angels RHP Cory Rasmus was optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake, one day after throwing three scoreless innings in a start against the A's. Rasmus was sent down because he was not available to pitch Sunday and it allowed the Angels to add a player to their bench, activating INF Grant Green from the disabled list. Rasmus will be added to the roster Tuesday when major league rosters can be expanded to as many as 40 players. ... Angels SS Erick Aybar singled in the second inning Sunday, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games.