Nearly eight hours after Ramón Laureano was suspended 80 games by MLB for PEDs, Starling Marte delivered for the Athletics in a huge way, crushing a three-run walk-off homer in the 11th inning against the Texas Rangers at the Coliseum on Friday night.
With Laureano out of the equation for the rest of the season, the A's are going to need Marte to step up, and he certainly held up his end of the bargain on this night.
Marte had two of the A's four hits against the Rangers, and now is hitting .313/,408/.469 this season. In seven games since the trade, the 32-year-old has 11 hits, including two homers and four RBI.
Marte's walk-off homer was huge for the A's in the AL playoff race. The Houston Astros lost to the Minnesota Twins, so Oakland picked up a game in the West, while the New York Yankees beat the Seattle Mariners, so the A's maintained their 1 1/2 game lead for the second AL Wild Card spot.
Marte doesn't have to carry the A's over the final two months of the season, but he has the talent to do it if they need him to.
On a day when the A's lost one of their most valuable players, their huge trade-deadline acquisition came through with a mammoth homer to wipe the bitter taste out of the mouth of everyone within the organization.