Offensive support has helped Dan Haren pick up a pair of victories during a slump on the mound.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim hope that their right-hander won't need as much help this evening in the opener of a four-game series versus the Toronto Blue Jays.
Haren has pitched to a 7.56 earned run average over his last three starts, yielding 14 runs and 27 hits over that span but going 2-1 thanks to 19 runs of support.
He lost a 5-0 decision to the Diamondbacks on June 15, then won an 8-5 contest on Friday versus the Dodgers after giving up five runs -- all in the first two innings -- on nine hits and three walks. Los Angeles' offense was able to battle back and get Haren the win, improving him to 5-7 with a 4.24 ERA in 15 outings this season.
"I have to get better," Haren told the Angels' official website. "I don't want to bring the team down. We had so much momentum coming into the series and we're playing such good baseball. It was nice for the team to pick me up. Hopefully I can pick them up next time."
Haren began a four-game losing streak from May 3-19 with a 5-0 loss to the Blue Jays, allowing all five runs but just three earned. The big blow was a third-run homer hit by Toronto catcher J.P. Arencibia in the third.
Haren fell to 7-3 with a 4.68 ERA lifetime versus the Jays, who give 25-year- old Brett Cecil his third start of 2012.
Cecil made his season debut on June 17 after going a combined 4-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 10 starts across Double and Triple-A. He beat the Phillies after allowing two runs over five innings, then made his second outing of the year on Saturday at Miami. The lefty did not factor into a 7-1 win as the offense came late. Cecil himself allowed a run on five hits and three walks over six- plus innings.
Cecil is 1-2 with a 6.43 ERA in five career starts versus the Angels, who pounded out 20 runs and 33 hits over a two-game sweep of the Orioles. They finished off the quick set Wednesday with a 13-1 rout.
Mike Trout had four of Los Angeles' 16 hits and set the tone early with a brilliant leaping catch at the wall to save a home run in the first inning.
"Obviously a tremendous play by Trout. It was one of the best plays I've ever seen behind me," said Angels starter Weaver. "That was very uplifting and I kind of worked off that."
Weaver didn't need much help from Trout or the offense, striking out six over 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball in his second start since coming off the disabled list.
Torii Hunter homered and scored four times and Kendrys Morales drove in four runs for the Angels, who have won three straight and 13 of 17.
The Blue Jays, meanwhile, have lost three of four and are coming off yesterday's 10-4 setback to the Red Sox. Ricky Romero had won four straight decisions, but he was tagged for nine runs -- eight earned -- over three-plus innings in the loss.
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion both homered for Toronto, with Bautista launching his 13th home run of June. the most homers by a player in any single month in club history.
The Angels and Jays split a four-game series in Anaheim back in early May.