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MLB: Starling Marte set for A’s debut vs. Angels

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The Oakland A’s will begin a four-game series against the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday in Anaheim, Calif., with a different look, one they hope produces some much-needed offense.

On Wednesday, the A’s acquired outfielder Starling Marte from the Miami Marlins in exchange for left-handed pitcher Jesus Luzardo.

“Not only does it give us a bat and solid defense, it’s also a dynamic athletically,” A’s manager Bob Melvin said. “His run dynamic — he steals bases. He does everything. This is a big-time player. This adds to our team right now, for sure.

“This makes us a better team, a much better team.”

Marte, hitting .306 with seven homers, 25 RBIs, 22 stolen bases and an .859 on-base-plus-slugging percentage, will be counted on to boost an Oakland offense that has struggled in July. The A’s are averaging 4.0 runs a game this month, their 10-4 win over the host San Diego Padres on Wednesday not withstanding.

“We’ve lost a number of one-run games,” A’s general manager David Forst said. “The pitching staff has had an incredibly thin margin of error. … We do feel like a little jolt for the offense is going to be helpful.

“We felt like Starling was the best position player out there. It’s not easy to trade a player like Jesus. But, bottom line, we’ve always said when the team and this clubhouse performs and puts itself in this position, it’s on us to try to do whatever we can to help them.”

Right-hander Frankie Montas (8-8, 4.34 ERA) will start on the mound for Oakland on Thursday against Angels right-hander Dylan Bundy (1-7, 6.69).

Montas is 3-1 with a 2.96 ERA in 11 career games (eight starts) against the Angels. That includes going 1-1 with a 1.42 ERA in two starts this season.

Bundy will be starting in place of right-hander Alex Cobb, who won’t take his turn due to a blister on his pitching hand. Bundy owns a 4-2 record with a 5.04 ERA in 11 career appearances against Oakland, including nine starts.

His most recent outing was a relief appearance against the A’s, when he threw a perfect inning on July 20. In two earlier starts vs. Oakland this year, Bundy went 0-1 with a 9.43 ERA.

The Angels will be without first baseman Jared Walsh, who was placed on the injured list Wednesday due to a right intercostal strain, an injury sustained Monday when taking a swing. There is no timetable for his return.

Phil Gosselin started Wednesday at first base for Los Angeles and made a case to remain there. He went 2-for-4 with a walk, a run and an RBI, providing the game-winning hit in the eighth inning as the Angels beat the visiting Colorado Rockies 8-7.

Gosselin has been a super utility player for Angels manager Joe Maddon this season, getting starts at first base, second, third, left field and designated hitter. He is hitting .294 with a .358 on-base percentage and .413 slugging percentage.

“As soon as we acquired him, (Phillies front office adviser) Larry Bowa called me immediately and gave me a great account,” Maddon said of Gosselin, who played for Philadelphia in 2019 and 2020. “He talked about his bat and how good of a hitter he was.”

–Field Level Media

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