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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — DJ Peters homered twice, had a career-high four hits and drove in four runs, and Taylor Hearn pitched seven innings of seven-hit ball in the Texas Rangers’ 7-3 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday.
Peters, the former Dodgers outfielder who grew up 30 minutes north of Angel Stadium in Glendora, had the first multi-homer game of his rookie season. He hit a solo shot in the second and a three-run blast in the third before adding a single and a late double, delighting his vocal family and friends in the Anaheim stands while Texas snapped a three-game skid.
“I feel like every day, a hundred people are here,” Peters said about the series. “It’s awesome having friends, family, loved ones, high school coaches, just people from Glendora coming out and supporting me. It’s what you play for, and you definitely want to play well when they’re here, so today is a good day for me.”
Hearn (5-4) won his third consecutive start, allowing three runs and striking out four in the longest start of his career while ending the last-place Rangers’ five-game losing streak against the Angels.
“(Hearn) probably could have gone more,” Texas manager Chris Woodward said. “Made a couple of mistakes to (Adell), but other than that, a lot of weak contact. Nobody really hit a ball hard. Didn’t even need to use some of his pitches, because they were making early outs on strikes.”
Hearn gave up his only runs on two homers by Jo Adell.
“Just a little upset about the two mistakes I made (to Adell), but honestly I’d rather it be a solo shot than a three-run (homer) or a grand slam,” Hearn said. “I just tried to keep us in the game, because that’s a good lineup over there.”
Hearn even struck out Shohei Ohtani twice, giving him three strikeouts of the major league homers leader in their four career matchups.
Ohtani went 0 for 4. The two-way star got a walk and his 23rd stolen base in the eighth inning, but struck out with two Angels on base to end it.
The Angels lost for only the third time on a nine-game homestand concluding Monday.
Janson Junk (0-1) lost his major league debut after pitching six-hit ball into the fourth inning for the Angels. His teammates let him down with two defensive disappointments that could have prevented all of his five runs allowed — including four unearned runs.
“There was one really bad pitch on the curveball to Peters, but otherwise I thought he represented himself well,” Angels manager Joe Maddon said. “I thought he was poised. I thought he had a good mound presence.”
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Peters connected for his ninth homer leading off the second inning, but only when Angels center fielder Brandon Marsh missed a good opportunity to catch it at the fence.
Peters then blasted a two-out homer in the third on the first pitch after Angels shortstop Luis Rengifo extended the inning by blowing an easy throw to first.
Adell got the Angels’ first run with a solo homer leading off the fourth, ending his 15-game homer drought. He added a two-run shot to right in the sixth for the second multi-homer game of his career.
The Angels promoted Junk from Double-A last Friday, and he became their 16th starting pitcher this season. Los Angeles acquired the 25-year-old Junk from the Yankees this summer in the trade of Andrew Heaney.
TYLER (VS) TEXAS
Right-hander Kyle Tyler also made his major league debut for the Angels, finishing the game with three innings of stellar one-hit relief. Tyler his first eight batters before a diving Marsh barely missed Peters’ tailing double to center.
Tyler is the 61st player to suit up for the Halos this season, a new franchise record. Los Angeles has used 35 pitchers, not counting position players who filled in on the mound.
Rangers: RHP Spencer Howard is back with the team after going on the COVID injured list late last month. He should be activated soon.
Angels: LF Justin Upton went on the injured list with a right lumbar strain. The 34-year-old slugger already missed 21 games with a back injury this summer, and the Halos won’t re-evaluate him for 10 days.
Texas’ A.J. Alexy (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his second major league start and appearance after throwing five innings of scoreless one-hit ball against Colorado in his debut. Jaime Barria (2-2, 5.40) wraps up the series for the Angels.