Dan Haren tries to put some early-season struggles behind him this evening when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim continue a four-game series with the Oakland Athletics at Angel Stadium.
After getting hit hard in his season debut, Haren settled down a bit on Thursday in Minnesota, as he allowed three runs and nine hits in five innings, but did not factor in the decision of his team's 10-9 loss. He had allowed five runs in a 5 1/3-inning loss on April 7.
"With Danny, his first couple of starts, the ball has definitely been up a little bit," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "This guy's a total command guy, and he's uncharacteristically getting into some hitting counts."
Haren, who pitched three years for Oakland, has faced the A's six times and is 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA.
Oakland, meanwhile, will hand the ball to righty Tyson Ross, who will be making his first start of the season. He has made two starts for Triple-A Sacramento and surrendered four runs in nine innings.
"He definitely is a talented guy," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "When he gets on a roll, you've seen here what we can accomplish."
Ross, who is 4-7 with a 4.18 in 35 big league appearances, is 0-1 with a save and a 2.45 ERA in four games (two starts) against the Angels.
Los Angeles drew first blood in this series on Monday, as Kendrys Morales hit his first home run in nearly two years and finished 3-for-4 with four RBI, carrying the Angels to a 6-0 victory.
Morales' homer was his first since May 29, 2010, the day the budding slugger celebrated a game-ending grand slam by jumping on home plate and subsequently suffering a knee injury that threatened to cut his career short.
His efforts overshadowed Jered Weaver's 6 2/3 shutout innings. Weaver (2-0) allowed just five hits and one walk while striking out six for the Angels, who were coming off a 2-4 road trip.
"They have four guys that they feel could pitch at the top of the rotation, and Weaver is one of the elite pitchers," Melvin said.
Brandon McCarthy (0-2) surrendered five runs on 11 hits over seven-plus innings in Oakland's third straight loss.
The A's won 11 of their 19 matchups with the Angels last season. However, the Angels are 12-5 in the last 17 meetings at Angel Stadium against the A's.