Source: Los Angeles Times
Dan Haren delivered a little forget-me-not bouquet to Angels fans Friday night.
On a day the veteran right-hander was pushed to the fourth spot in the rotation by the acquisition of Zack Greinke, Haren delivered his second quality start since coming off the disabled list, allowing one run and five hits in six innings of a 3-1 victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Angel Stadium.
The Angels bunched four straight two-out hits in the third inning — Mike Trout's single, Torii Hunter's bunt single, Albert Pujols' two-run double and Mark Trumbo's RBI single — to move to within four games of Texas in the American League West.
Reliever Kevin Jepsen bailed out Haren from a two-on, no-out jam in the seventh, getting Ryan Roberts and Jose Lobaton to fly out and striking out Elliot Johnson. Scott Downs threw a scoreless eighth and Ernesto Frieri a scoreless ninth for his 12th save.
Haren's lower-back stiffness, which sent him to the disabled list with a 6-6 record and 4.86 earned-run average in early July, and Ervin Santana's struggles were the primary reasons General Manager Jerry Dipoto fortified the rotation with Greinke.
But Haren appears to have re-established himself in his last two starts, allowing three runs and eight hits in 12 innings of wins over the Rangers and Rays, giving the Angels, who also have Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, four high-quality starters.
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