ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) – Say this for Los Angeles Angels rookie Jefry Marte, he understands good timing.
Playing before his mother in the United States for the first time, the 25-year-old Marte hit his first career grand slam to spark a seven-run fourth inning and lead the Angels to an 8-1 victory Tuesday over the Oakland Athletics.
“I’m very happy,” Marte said through an interpreter. “I thank God for the opportunity. I feel even happier because my mom was watching from the stands.”
Marte said his mother, Louisa, had recently received her visa from his native Dominican Republic. It was his 13th home run of the season.
Right-hander Ricky Nolasco, who had struggled in his first five starts for the Angels (0-4, 5.70 ERA), allowed only one unearned in eight innings and is 4-2 with a 1.47 ERA in his last six starts.
Nolasco (8-14), who has not allowed an earned run in his last three games, said it was his last scheduled start of the season.
“It’s tough to say it will carry over into next season, but it’s nice to finish this like that,” Nolasco said.
“You always want to go into the offseason on a good note. Eight innings is nice.”
A’s rookie right-hander Daniel Mengden (2-9) gave up all eight runs and nine hits in just over three innings.
Oakland manager Bob Melvin was nonetheless encouraged by what he’s seen from the 23-year-old this season.
“I think he learned that he can pitch here,” Melvin said. “I think he learned when he’s aggressive and gets ahead, he can have success. It’s a little bit when he’s on the run and guys are on base, and maybe he isn’t as confident in his fastball or throwing the ball over the plate early in the count.
“He gets a little defensive with guys on base.”
The Angels managed 12 hits, none after the fifth inning, and seven were for extra bases. Kole Calhoun added two doubles and a triple, as the Angels won for the sixth time in seven games.
Oakland third baseman Ryon Healy had three hits, including a double to drive in the A’s only run. The rookie had never played third base before this season and is hitting .309.
“He’s a tough kid,” Melvin said. “He can hit. He’s confident. He hasn’t played the position and now he plays third base pretty well. It hasn’t bothered him at all. He works hard every day. The bottom line is – he can hit.”
Marte has had almost the opposite experience. He came up in May as a third baseman. He’s started 20 games at third, 28 at first and 22 in left – a position he had never played before at any level.
He’s found his power game wherever he played, with 27 of his 59 hits this season going for extra bases
The A’s dropped to 67-90 with the defeat, giving them consecutive 90-loss seasons for only the second time in Oakland history (1977-79). The A’s have lost seven of eight.
WALK THIS WAY
Mike Trout’s walk in the fourth inning gave him 113 on the season, tying him for the Angels’ team record with Tony Phillips (1995) for most in a season. Trout leads the majors in walks and on-base percentage (.441).
ESCOBAR LEAVES EARLY
Angels 3B Yunel Escobar left the game after three innings, complaining of right shoulder stiffness.
Athletics: Originally the team said rookie infielder Renato Nunez would be out for a day or two with a sore back, but by game-time announced he was available.
Angels: LHP Tyler Skaggs (strained elbow), who has made only nine starts this season, threw a bullpen session and is expected to make a brief start either Saturday or Sunday. . DH Albert Pujols is out with right Plantar Fasciitis.
Athletics: RHP Sonny Gray (5-11) is scheduled to come off the DL (strained right forearm) to make a brief start. Manager Bob Melvin said he would only throw about 30 pitches.
Angels: Rookie RHP Alex Meyer (1-3) is scheduled to make his fifth start for the Angels since his Aug. 1 trade from the Twins. He is 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA with the Angels.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.