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OC Register: Dillon Peters makes strong audition, Angels hit four homers to beat Mariners


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    Los Angeles Angels’ Mike Trout connects for a solo home run against the Seattle Mariners in the seventh inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi pauses after giving up a run to the Los Angeles Angels in the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Dustin Garneau (13) races past Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager on his way to score in the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Los Angeles Angels first baseman Albert Pujols pursues a foul ball by the Seattle Mariners in a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager knocks down a ground ball signaled fair by umpire Jordan Baker, right, for a single from Los Angeles Angels’ Dustin Garneau in the third inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Shohei Ohtani fouls off a ball against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. Ohtani struck out looking on the turn. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Seattle Mariners right fielder Domingo Santana just misses a fly ball that fell in for a one-run triple by Los Angeles Angels’ Luis Rengifo in the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Seattle Mariners starting pitcher Yusei Kikuchi throws against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Los Angeles Angels’ Albert Pujols, left, greets Brian Goodwin, right, at home on Goodwin’s two-run home run against the Seattle Mariners in the fourth inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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    Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher Dillon Peters throws against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning of a baseball game Sunday, July 21, 2019, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

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SEATTLE – The Angels’ rotation has been a season-long experiment with more fits than starts.

Their earned-run average stood at 5.40 through Saturday – a putrid 6.16 in the month of July alone. In the last two days, Matt Harvey was designated for assignment and Andrew Heaney was placed on the injured list. Sunday, opportunity knocked at the door of 26-year-old left-hander Dillon Peters, and he became the 16th different pitcher to start a game for the Angels this season.

Naturally, Peters threw five shutout innings and the Angels enjoyed a lopsided 9-3 victory over the Seattle Mariners.

Peters (2-0) allowed four hits, walked two batters, and struck out four in his first major league start since April of last year.Albert Pujols, Brian Goodwin, Mike Trout and Dustin Garneau hit home runs.  For Trout, it was his 32nd of the season, and his second in as many days.

The Texas Rangers lost their seventh consecutive game earlier in the day. By winning twice in the three-game series, the Angels (52-49) moved into sole possession of third place in the American League West. They had either been tied for third, or alone in fourth, since May 19.

The fifth-place Mariners (40-62) lost for the seventh time in eight games since the All-Star break.

Peters was lined up to start Sunday for Triple-A Salt Lake, where he had a 6.47 ERA in 13 games (11 starts). If his latest major league start served as an audition to remain in the rotation, at least while Heaney recovers from shoulder inflammation, it counted as an unqualified success.

In the third inning, Peters picked Mallex Smith off first base. In the fourth inning, the Mariners finally got a runner past second base, when Tim Beckham singled and went to third base on a ground-rule double by Tom Murphy.

Peters hung a changeup to the next batter, Kyle Seager, but got away with it. Seager popped up into shallow right field, ending the inning.

Griffin Canning, Jaime Barría and Felix Peña are the only other healthy members of the Angels’ rotation. They will not need a fifth starter until next Saturday, a home game against the Baltimore Orioles. Peters has a rare opportunity to remain on the Angels’ 25-man roster until then.

Garneau, Goodwin, Pujols and Shohei Ohtani had two hits apiece. Noe Ramirez and Luis Garcia did not allow a run in relief of Peters.

Left-hander Adalberto Mejia made his Angels debut one day after he was claimed off waivers. He allowed one run in the seventh inning, on a double by Mallex Smith that snuck down the third-base line, while recording two outs.

Seattle scored twice against Trevor Cahill in the ninth inning to complete the scoring.

The Angels have an off-day Monday before beginning a two-game interleague series against the Dodgers on Tuesday.

More to come on this story.

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