SAN DIEGO – Dan Haren and the Los Angeles Angels are struggling.
Haren lost his fourth straight start Saturday night as the Angels were defeated 3-2 by the San Diego Padres.
Alexi Amarista scored San Diego's first two runs against his former team and then doubled in the go-ahead run off Haren in the seventh inning.
"I'm better than this," said Haren, who has lost seven of nine decisions dating to last year. "I feel good, health-wise, at least from two starts ago. I thought I looked better as the game went on. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't want to win games. I'm frustrated at 1-5. I'm not happy about it and the team is not happy with where we are at."
Haren allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out five and walked one.
"I feel like I haven't really got hit around too much, but my numbers don't look good," Haren said. "I feel better than what I'm showing. I know that the wins will come."
Said manager Mike Scioscia: "I thought as he got into the game, his stuff was there. He's much further along right now than he has been at any point in the season, and that's encouraging."
Amarista, who was on the Angels' opening day roster, started his third straight game for the Padres at second base. He replaced Orlando Hudson, who was waived on Thursday as part of a shake-up of the middle infield. Amarista and shortstop Everth Cabrera, who has replaced the injured Jason Bartlett, were recalled from Triple-A Tucson.
Amarista appeared in one game for the Angels as a pinch runner before being optioned to Triple-A Salt Lake. He was acquired from the Angels on May 3 along with minor league right-hander Donn Roach for reliever Ernesto Frieri.
Erick Aybar tied his career high with four hits, falling a home run short of the cycle. He had an RBI triple and scored a run. He singled with one out in the ninth and reached third with two outs before Dale Thayer struck out Ryan Langerhans to earn his fifth save in as many chances.
The Padres handed Haren (1-5) his fourth straight loss. Haren has lost seven of nine decisions dating to last season. He allowed three runs and six hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out five and walked one.
With the game tied at 2, Nick Hundley singled to left to open the seventh and was sacrificed by Cabrera. Amarista followed with a slicing double to left to put the Padres ahead.
Amarista manufactured a run in the third. He reached on an infield single, beat the throw when catcher John Hester went for the lead runner on newcomer Eric Stults' sacrifice bunt, and then daringly took third on Will Venable's fly to left, beating Mike Trout's throw. Amarista then scored on Cameron Maybin's sacrifice fly to left. That tied the game at 1.
The Angels went ahead in the fifth when Aybar hit a leadoff double off the base of the left-field wall, advanced on Haren's sacrifice bunt and scored on Trout's groundout.
Amarista tied it for the Padres in the bottom of the inning when he drew a leadoff walk, was sacrificed by Stults, took third on a wild pitch and scored on Cameron Maybin's single to center.
Stults, a left-hander acquired off waivers from the Chicago White Sox on Thursday, made his Padres debut in place of Tim Stauffer, who went on the disabled list for the second time this year with an elbow injury. Stults allowed two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings, struck out two and walked three.
Luke Gregerson (1-0) relieved Stults with two outs in the seventh and a runner on second and got Trout to fly out.
Notes: The ceremonial first pitch was thrown out by Electrician's Mate 1st Class Nathan Burnett of the USS San Diego, which was commissioned earlier Saturday. Burnett was the 45th-round draft pick of the Angels in 1996. ... The Padres placed OF Mark Kotsay on the 15-day disabled list with a lower back strain and recalled outfielder Blake Tekotte from Triple-A Tucson. Kotsay's move is retroactive to last Sunday. The 36-year-old is hitting .294 with one homer and six RBIs in 18 games, and is 3 for 10 as a pinch-hitter, with a double, homer and four RBIs. Tekotte is up for the second time this season. He was first recalled April 28 and played in five games before being optioned back to Tucson on May 8. ... The series concludes Sunday when the Angels' Ervin Santana (2-6, 4.36 ERA) is scheduled to face Anthony Bass (2-4, 2.87).