Dan Haren faces Arizona for the first time since being dealt by the club nearly two years ago tonight when the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim begin a three-game set against the Diamondbacks at Angel Stadium.
Haren had been 37-26 with a 3.56 ERA in two-plus seasons for Arizona and was a two-time All-Star for it. But, with the Diamondbacks in last place in the NL West in 2010, they shipped him and his large deal to Anaheim just before the non-waiver trade deadline as part of a five-player deal.
The 31-year-old righty has bounced back after a 1-5 start to win three of his last four outings. He beat Colorado on Saturday, but wasn't particularly sharp, as he surrendered four runs and 10 hits in 5 1/3 innings. He is 4-6 on the year with a 3.73 ERA.
"The ball doesn't do as much. My cutter was OK, but my splitter was awful and I couldn't control it," said Haren. "I made the most of what I had. We scored a bunch of runs, so I was able to attack them."
This will be his first start against his former team.
Like Haren, the Angels have turned things around after an atrocious start. After taking two of three from the Los Angeles Dodgers, Mike Scioscia's club is now four games over .500 at 34-30 and just three games back of the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
Albert Pujols comes into tonight's tilt riding an eight-game hitting streak. He's hitting .441 with a homer, seven doubles and seven RBI during the stretch and has raised his average to .264.
Arizona, meanwhile, didn't help the Angels any this past week, as it dropped two of three to the Rangers. The Diamondbacks, though, were able to avoid a sweep in that set, as they rolled in the finale, 11-3.
The Diamondbacks, who had won five in a row before that series, will rely on righty Trevor Cahill tonight. Cahill was magnificent in beating his former team, the Oakland A's, on Saturday, as he held them to two runs in 7 1/3 frames to improve to 4-5 to go along with a 3.36 ERA.
"I was probably more nervous than any other start this year," he said. "Going against the team I played for, for six years. It definitely was a little more nerve-wracking."
Cahill is no stranger to the Angels, having faced them nine times and posting a 4-3 mark with a 2.34 ERA.
The Angels swept Arizona the last time these teams met back in 2009, but this is the Diamondbacks' first trip to Angel Stadium since 2001.