It’s been almost two months since Oakland Athletics right-hander Danny Haren lost a start, and he’ll look to continue that impressive streak when he faces the Texas Rangers in the finale of their four-game series at McAfee Field.
Haren didn’t pitch particularly well in his last start, pitching 5 1-3 innings, allowing five runs—four earned—and 10 hits, but was long gone as Oakland beat the White Sox 9-8 in 11 innings last Sunday.
However, he remained unbeaten since falling at Tampa Bay on May 26.
Acquired in the offseason trade that sent Mark Mulder to St. Louis, Haren went a woeful 1-7 in his first 10 starts of the season. However, he has rebounded to post a 6-0 record in his last nine outings.
“I’m feeling much better about myself out there,” Haren said. “When I take the mound now, I feel as if I’m going to pitch better than the other guy. Earlier in the year, I felt as if I was pitching scared at times. I’m pitching more aggressive, and going after hitters more. Even when I struggled I knew I could pitch like this, it’s no surprise to me.”
Texas right-hander Chris Young, who will face the A’s on Sunday, is moving in the opposite direction.
Young, who was 8-4 with a 3.33 ERA on June 30, has been hammered in his last two starts, allowing 11 runs and 11 hits over just 6 1-3 innings.
In his last start, he exited long before the Rangers posted a 9-8 win over the Blue Jays on last Sunday, but not before he had allowed four runs and six hits over just four innings.
Young now has an 8.10 ERA over his last five starts, raising his ERA from 2.78 to 4.01.
A repeat of Saturday’s offense would be a welcome sight for Young.
Hank Blalock matched his career high with four hits, including a homer and two doubles, as the Rangers ended a three-game road losing streak and broke out against an Oakland pitching staff that did not allow a hit for 8 1-3 innings in each of the previous two games.
“It seemed like we were kind of due after what happened the first two days,” Blalock said. “We take pride in our offense and I’m glad we were able to turn it around.”