Dan Haren tries to follow up a brilliant effort in his last start and put the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over .500 this evening when they continue a three-game series with the New York Yankees at Angel Stadium.
Haren pitched perhaps the best game of his career on Thursday in Seattle, as he struck out 14 in a four-hit shutout to snap a personal four-start losing streak to up his record to 2-5 on the year, while lowering his earned run average to 3.76.
"I was searching for a while," Haren said. "I was hoping it would come earlier, but I think a product of what I do on the field is what I do in between starts. I've had to pick up my in-between-starts routine and do a lot more stuff to strengthen my back, my core area."
Haren has had success versus the Yankees in his career, posting a 5-1 mark to go along with a 3.43 ERA in 10 starts.
New York, meanwhile, will counter with lefty Andy Pettitte, who will be making his fourth start since returning from a one-year retirement. Pettitte has looked as if he never left and won his second straight start on Wednesday against Kansas City, as he allowed two runs and seven hits in seven innings. He had thrown eight scoreless innings in his previous outing.
"I felt like I'd be able to get back to where I was, so to say that I'm surprised, I'm really not," said Pettitte, who has struck out 17 batters in his last 15 innings. "I still feel like I have a ways to go as far as maybe mentally, as far as the focus I want to have, but other than that, I feel real good about my stuff and my pitches, where they're at."
Pettitte is no stranger to the Angels, having faced them 30 times and going 14-10 against them with a 4.42 ERA.
Los Angeles won Monday's opener in dramatic fashion, as Mark Trumbo hammered a game-winning home run in the bottom of the ninth inning to lift the Angels to a 9-8 victory.
Trumbo finished with three hits, two RBI and three runs scored, while Kendrys Morales and Howie Kendrick each knocked in three runs for the Angels, who stretched their season-high win streak to seven games.
Jordan Walden (2-1) earned the win with two scoreless innings of relief.
But there was some bad news earlier in the contest when Angels star pitcher Jered Weaver was forced to leave the game in the first inning with a lower back injury. He will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
Cory Wade (0-1) gave up Trumbo's leadoff blast to suffer the loss for New York, which had its five-game win streak stopped.
Phil Hughes started the game for the Yankees and allowed seven runs on 11 hits with no walks over 5 1/3 innings.
"It was a struggle for [Hughes] tonight. We had chances. It was a game we continued to fight back, then the game was over," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It happened quick. Trumbo has that type of power."
The Yankees took two of three from the Halos earlier in the season.