Crazy dumb Athletics gaffe at home plate helps Angels escape with sweep of Oakland

Well that's something you won't see every day.
Oakland Athletics player Armando Alvarez
Oakland Athletics player Armando Alvarez / Jayne Kamin-Oncea/GettyImages
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More times than not this season, it's been the Los Angeles Angels whose errors and mistakes have cost them opportunities. But on Wednesday afternoon in Angel Stadium, the shoe was on the other foot. The Angels escaped with a three-game sweep of the Athletics thanks in large part to one of the biggest boneheaded plays you'll ever see.

Wednesday's final score might have looked a lot different if Kyle McCann would've done the simplest of tasks during the top of the second inning. McCann missed touching home plate during a would-be two-RBI double off the bat of Max Schuemann, but the A's catcher made a critical blunder and it cost his team big time.

An 0-2 delivery from Roansy Contreras to Schuemann was laced into left field and played off the wall by Angels' outfielder Taylor Ward. A's second baseman Armando Alvarez came around from second base to put Oakland up 1-0, but it was the trailing runner who screwed up.

Crazy dumb Athletics gaffe at home plate helps Angels escape with sweep

Alvarez crossed the dish first, and McCann was just behind. But McCann missed touching the plate, then, after being implored by his teammate, realized he failed to touch the dish. McCann quickly realized his mistake, then tapped home plate with his right foot.

So what's the problem? Technically, that's interference. According to Baseball Rules Academy, it is interference by a batter or a runner when any batter or runner who has just been put out, or any runner who has just scored, hinders or impedes any following play being made on a runner. Such runner shall be declared out for the interference of his teammate.

Had Alvarez not physically assisted McCann — ushering him back to touch home plate — it's likely that Oakland would have been up 2-0 in the top of the second inning with a runner in scoring position. Instead, McCann was ruled out, the A's scratched across just one run, and the Angels caught a major break.

It took a little while for the Halos' bats to wake up. The Angels didn't get on the board until the sixth inning. But when they did, LA put up a five-spot, thanks to a three-RBI double off the bat of Angels' shortstop Zach Neto. That cleared the bases, and put the Halos up 4-1. Los Angeles would tack on another run and win by the final of 5-2.

But that game could have gone much differently were it not for Oakland's costly miscue in the second inning. There are four bases, and players must be sure to touch every one of them in order to put a run on the scoreboard. Though that seems like elementary to most baseball fans, it was apparently not part of the instructions from the A's dugout.

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