Haren looks to continue the best start of his career when he opposes Lester in the continuation of a four-game series at Angel Stadium on Friday night.
“There is a lot of teams with a bunch of good pitchers and we’re a few of them,” Haren said. “What we hope is that when we take the mound our team expects to win. That’s how I feel and I feel like when I’m on the mound that the eight other guys with me feel like we’re going to win that game.”
After tossing a one-hitter to beat Cleveland on Aug. 12, the right-hander turned in another impressive performance Sunday, yielding two runs with six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings of a 4-2 victory at Chicago.
Haren improved to 7-0 with a 1.52 ERA in his last 12 starts. He also picked up a win in relief against Toronto on April 9.
“He is on a terrific roll,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “He’s not going to throw one-hitters every time out. You can look at a lot of different numbers, but I don’t think you need numbers to see how well Dan has been pitching.”
The Angels (12-7) look to rebound after falling 4-2 in 11 innings Thursday. They’ve lost 10 of the last 11 to the Red Sox, and all four at home.
Haren lost both starts against Boston in 2010, and is 2-5 with a 3.21 ERA in eight career games versus the Red Sox.
He may be in line for a win if the Angels show some improvement at the plate — Los Angeles is hitting .216 and has been outscored 72-38 in the last 11 meetings with Boston.
Lester (1-1, 3.20) played a part in that by beating the Angels on May 4, yielding one run and five hits in eight innings of a 5-1 victory.
A career-best 19-game winner last year, Lester seeks to build off his first victory of 2011. The left-hander allowed one run in six innings of an 8-1 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday.
Three Boston relievers combined to allowed one hit in three innings in Thursday’s opener. The bullpen has posted a 1.64 ERA over the last 10 games against the Angels, and closer Jonathan Papelbon(notes) is a big reason for that.
Papelbon has a 0.64 ERA while converting all 12 of his career save chances in 21 games against Los Angeles. His last five appearances have resulted 5 1-3 scoreless innings and a save in each contest, including Thursday.
It’s unclear if the Red Sox will be without Kevin Youkilis(notes), who left in the first inning Thursday after fouling a ball of his left shin. He’s hitting .214 with three homers and eight RBIs this season, and is 3 for 16 against Haren.
The Angels’ Erick Aybar(notes) collected two hits in the series opener after going 0 for 4 in a loss at Texas on Wednesday in his first game since a left oblique strain landed him on the disabled list.
He’s 7 for 20 with four doubles in five games, and 2 for 5 versus Lester.