Los Angeles Angels' Jefry Marte gets first career grand slam with mom in stands

By Joseph D'Hippolito, The Sports Xchange  |  Sept. 28, 2016 at 10:46 AM
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Jefry Marte delivered a special present to his mother, who was watching him play for the first time in his professional career Tuesday night.

Marte hit his first career grand slam to lead the Los Angeles Angels' 8-1 rout of the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium.

"I'm very happy," Marte said through a translator. "I'm especially happy that it happened when my mom was watching for the first time."

Marte's mother, Luisa, arrived from the Dominican Republic about a week ago.

"It's the first time they gave her a visa and it's her first visit to the United States," Marte said. "That's why I was very happy to be able to give her this gift."

Kole Calhoun added two doubles and a triple, scored twice and drove in a run while going 3-for-3. Mike Trout contributed his 99th RBI as the Angels (71-87) earned their sixth victory in seven games and their eighth in 11.

Right-hander Ricky Nolasco won his third successive start. In eight innings, Nolasco (8-14) permitted an unearned run, scattered five hits, issued two walks, collected four strikeouts and induced three double plays.

Nolasco attributed his recent success to the development of a slider under the guidance of pitching coach Charles Nagy.

"Nagy helped me out a ton with understanding how good a pitch that can be for me," Nolasco said. "I didn't use it as much before and now I'm gaining confidence in throwing it. Getting those quick outs on ground balls is huge."

Rookie Ryon Healy collected three of the Athletics' six hits, including a double, and drove in their only run. But Oakland (67-90) suffered its seventh loss in eight games.

"He's a tough kid," A's manager Bob Melvin said about Healy, a converted first baseman who is learning to play third base. "When you haven't played a position before and you go to the big leagues and play it, it can be difficult. But it hasn't bothered him at all. He's very confident. The big thing is that he can hit."

Angels third baseman Yunel Escobar left the game for a pinch hitter in the fourth inning because of a sore right shoulder. Manager Mike Scioscia said Escobar is day-to-day.

Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the first inning against right-hander Daniel Mengden. With one out, Calhoun hit a fly ball into left-center field. Poor communication between left fielder Danny Valencia and center fielder Brett Eibner prevented Eibner from making a clean backhanded catch, and Calhoun received credit for a double. Trout then lined a single into right field to bring Calhoun home and register his 99th RBI this year.

The Angels chased Mengden in the fourth by sending 11 batters to the plate and scoring seven runs on seven hits, a walk, a fielder's choice and a groundout. Marte began the onslaught by propelling Mengden's 93 mph fastball over the center-field fence with the bases loaded for his 13th home run of the season.

Andrelton Simmons and Rafael Ortega followed with singles, then Juan Graterol doubled just inside the left-field line to bring Simmons home and send Ortega to third base. Kaleb Cowart's groundout scored Ortega. Then pinch hitter Cliff Pennington reached base on a fielder's choice and came home on Calhoun's triple.

Mengden (2-9) allowed eight runs on nine hits in three-plus innings. He walked one and struck out one as he received his fourth loss in his past five starts.

"The first time through the order, he was real aggressive with his fastball," Melvin said. "It looked like he had a lot of confidence. Then he got a couple of guys on and I think the grand slam probably took a little wind out of his sails."

Oakland broke the shutout with an unearned run in the sixth. Eibner reached second base on third baseman Cowart's two-base throwing error and scored on Healy's double down the left-field line.

NOTES: Tuesday marked the 43rd anniversary of Nolan Ryan setting the season strikeout record while pitching for the Angels. In his final start, Ryan struck out 16 Minnesota Twins in a 5-4 win in 11 innings. Ryan finished with 383 strikeouts, beating by one the record Sandy Koufax established in 1965. ... Since the All-Star break, Oakland 3B Ryon Healy leads American League rookies with 74 hits and ranks second with 12 home runs, 33 RBI, 32 runs scored and 17 doubles. ... Athletics RHP Sonny Gray will be activated from the disabled list to start Wednesday night. Gray injured his right forearm Aug. 6. ... Los Angeles RHP Garrett Richards will pitch to hitters in a simulated game Wednesday for the first time since tearing his ulnar collateral ligament in May. Richards is using stem-cell therapy to try to avoid Tommy John surgery. ... Angels LHP Tyler Skaggs threw a 40-pitch bullpen session before Tuesday's game. Skaggs was diagnosed with a strained flexor in his forearm Sept. 14. ... Angels DH Albert Pujols did not play because of a sore right foot. ... Angels RHP Matt Shoemaker celebrated his 30th birthday.

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