Los Angeles Angels keep right on rolling thanks to Marte, Nolasco

If the Los Angeles Angels would have played like they have in the past week all season we may have been talking about preparing for the playoffs.  Unfortunately the Angels have been very inconsistent & have suffered a plethora of injuries that has kept them from competing for a playoff spot in 2016.

However, in the last week the Los Angeles Angels have been getting good starting pitching and timely hitting in winning eight of their last 11 games including Tuesday night’s 8-1 trouncing of the A’s in Anaheim.  Jefry Marte provided the big blow which was a fourth inning grand slam that was part of a seven-run inning to back starter Ricky Nolasco who pitched eight strong innings for his eighth victory of the season.

Marte’s blast off of A’s starter Daniel Mengden extending the Angels 1-0 lead to five. It was Marte’s 13th homer of the season and he now has 42 RBI’s.  Not bad for a guy who started the season in Triple-A.  Marte has shown his versatility learning to play left field as well as playing both corner infield spots at first and third.

Marte has filled in nicely for both C.J. Cron and Yunel Escobar when they have been injured this season.  Marte’s power has gotten him additional opportunities to play despite both Escobar and Cron being healthy.

Kole Calhoun continued his torrid September going 3 for 3 with two doubles and a triple and scoring two runs. Calhoun is hitting .400 over the past week and .288 with five homers and 15 RBI’s over the past month to put him within striking of 20 home runs and 75 RBI’s for the season.

Calhoun was mired in a major power slump in the middle of the season which saw Calhoun hit no home runs for 35 games.  Calhoun’s average also plummeted from a season high .306 on June 5th to an average of .266 on August 23rd. But lately he has been swinging the bat much better giving the Angels another key piece in their line-up.

On the pitching side Nolasco baffled the Athletics giving up only five hits and one unearned run in his eight innings of work striking out four batters.  Nolasco lowered his season ERA to 4.22 in winning his third straight decision in September.  Overall he is 8-14 and 4-6 since coming to the Angels in late July.  In September Nolasco has pitched 34 innings only giving up seven earned runs giving him a 1.85 ERA with a 3-2 record.

Lost in all the shuffle was  Mike Trout‘s 99th RBI of the season, a first inning single that scored Calhoun to give the Angels an early 1-0 lead.  If Trout gets one more RBI he will have 100 RBI’s in a season for the second time in his career.  With one more home run he will have his fourth 30 homer season in five years in the majors.  Trout is also three stolen bases away from 30 for the season which could give him his second 30-30 season of his career.

The Angels will go for a sweep of their Northern California rivals tomorrow night as rookie Alex Meyer faces Oakland’s Sonny Gray.  Game time 7:05 p.m. don’t miss it.

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