ANAHEIM -- DJ Peters has history at Angel Stadium.
He was a member of the Angels ELITE Baseball travel team in high school and played those home games at The Big A. He also recorded his first Major League hit there on May 8 as a member of the Dodgers.
That history continued on Sunday afternoon, when the Glendora, Calif., native launched two home runs as part of a 4-for-5 day at the plate in the Rangers' 7-3 win over the Halos at Angel Stadium.
“It's something that we play for and something I've always dreamed about, playing at home and having friends and family come out,” Peters said. “I definitely want to play well when they’re here, so today was a good day.”
Peters’ home runs came in his first two at-bats, with Statcast-projected distances of 399 and 428 feet, respectively. It’s his second career multihomer game, making him the fourth Ranger this season to reach that feat. The last multihomer game by a Texas player in Anaheim was by Adrián Beltré on Aug. 23, 2017.
Peters' four RBIs also matched a career high, which he had done two previous times this season.
Though Peters has only been with the Rangers since Aug. 2, when he was claimed off waivers from the Dodgers, his nine homers since joining the team rank fifth. It’s also the fourth most by a Texas rookie in a season since the start of 2015 (29 by Adolis García in 2021, 20 by Nomar Mazara in 2016 and 16 by Ronald Guzmán in 2018).
Peters’ lone out was a long fly ball to the warning track in the sixth, which Statcast projected at 359 feet with a 92.5 mph exit velocity.
With his first career four-hit game, Peters raised his batting average above .200 (.204) for the first time since Aug. 7. In his last seven games, the outfielder is slashing .345/.355/.828 with four home runs. And while it’s a small sample size, Rangers manager Chris Woodward said that you can see the quality of Peters' at-bats and pure bat-to-ball abilities improving.
“He's obviously got that relentless mentality,” Woodward said. “But his preparation, I feel, is right on point. This guy prepares better than anybody. He writes everything down. I think he's accumulated some knowledge about himself and about the league, and he's able to apply it on a daily basis. There's a lot of adjustments to be made as he moves forward, but it's been fun to watch.”
That preparation Woodward talked about played into Peters’ banner game. Peters said he noticed that his stride was getting too long while watching video from Saturday night’s game, which affected the movement of his hands. Hitting coaches Luis Ortiz and Callix Crabbe worked with Peters to make the proper adjustments entering Sunday.
“I think that's the big thing moving forward, not only the in-game adjustments, but also the day-to-day adjustments,” Peters said. “Your brain is a very powerful tool and remembers your movements. Sometimes, you go back to your old movements. But then you want to have those day-to-day adjustments. I came in, showed Luis, and he agreed, so we came up with a solution.”
Peters was just one of the Rangers’ offensive bright spots. Isiah Kiner-Falefa and Yonny Hernandez both notched multihit games. Notably, Kiner-Falefa reached base four times, with three singles and a hit by pitch.
“I think we put some pressure on them, especially with the day that DJ had,” Woodward said. “We probably left some runners out there. They had some young guys come in, and we took advantage of that. We got some good pitches to hit, and I love it, man. We've been applying pressure every game.”
Rangers starter Taylor Hearn remained solid on the mound, tossing a career-high seven innings while allowing just three runs. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in a start since his move to the rotation on Aug. 17.
Woodward said Hearn, who threw only 77 pitches, probably could have gone another inning, but the manager never really considered it given the heat in Anaheim.
“They tried to attack him, but that just shows you how good [his] stuff [was],” Woodward said. “He made a couple mistakes to [Jo] Adell [who hit two homers]. Outside of that, he got a lot of weak contact. He didn't really use some of his other pitches because they were making early outs. I just loved the fact that he goes out there and attacks the strike zone. The stuff was just really good today.”