ANAHEIM -- Jefry Marte clubbed his first career grand slam in Tuesday's 8-1 win over the A's. It was a special moment for Marte, because his mother was in the stands to watch her son play for the first time in the United States."I'm very happy," said Marte, who also
ANAHEIM -- Jefry Marte clubbed his first career grand slam in Tuesday's 8-1 win over the A's. It was a special moment for Marte, because his mother was in the stands to watch her son play for the first time in the United States.
"I'm very happy," said Marte, who also doubled to finish 2-for-4. "I thank God for the opportunity, and I'm more happy because my mom was watching from the stands."
Marte flashed a smile in the clubhouse after the game as he answered questions about his big night at the plate. His mother, Louisa, is in the United States for the first time and has been here for a week after finally getting a visa to visit from the Dominican Republic.
"It's a special time for me, even more special that I hit a grand slam," he said.
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The Angels are taking a hard look at a number of young players to find out who can help the team next season, and Marte is making a strong case for himself to be a key piece of the solution moving forward.
The Angels like Marte's power and his defensive versatility. He made his 19th start in left field on Tuesday night, a position he had never played at any level before this year. The Angels are in dire need of a productive left fielder, having tried nine different players at the position this season.
Marte has 13 homers and 42 RBIs over 84 games in his first season with the Angels. He can also play third base and first.
"He's getting pretty consistent at-bats and there's no doubt he's understanding what Major League pitching is," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Now he's got to make some adjustments, which we're starting to go through that process."
The Angels are mostly set at the corner infield positions next year with Yunel Escobar and C.J. Cron. However, Marte might be able to carve a niche for himself in left, in addition to filling in at first and third.
"Every day I come here ready to give the team whatever it needs at whatever position they need me," Marte said. "My mind is always set to be positive and do what I'm asked."
Marte's grand slam off A's starter Daniel Mengden keyed the seven-run fourth inning. The homer traveled a projected 407 feet and had an exit velocity of 102 mph, according to Statcast™.
"I will tell you one thing, he's got some thunder in his bat," Scioscia said. "When he squares it up, it goes a long way."
The Angels sent 11 batters to the plate in the inning and the first seven batters reached base. Kole Calhoun doubled, Mike Trout walked and Cron singled to set the stage for Marte.
It was the third grand slam of the year for the Angels and the first since Cron hit one against the Red Sox at Fenway Park on July 1.
*Austin Laymance * is a reporter for MLB.com.