The Los Angeles Angels thrive in interleague play.
Haren looks for a personal three-game road winning streak as the Angels try to continue their interleague success against the New York Mets on Saturday night.
Los Angeles (34-37) leads the majors with a 52-24 interleague record since 2007, going 27-10 on the road.
The Angels have compiled a 1.85 ERA while winning three of four against the NL this year. They continued that success by opening this three-game set at Citi Field with a 4-3 win Friday.
Despite a 3-1 start to a season-high 12-game trip, manager Mike Scioscia feels improvement is needed.
“We have a lot of things we need to do better if we’re going to become the winning team we have the potential to be,” Scioscia told the team’s official website. “We have a lot of things to tighten up. If we play the next three months the way we have the last three weeks, we’re not going to get there.
“Our challenge is very clear. We need to be a better team.”
Sending Haren (6-4, 2.54) to the mound is a good way to do that. The right-hander is 4-1 with a 2.59 ERA in eight road starts, winning his last two despite a 4.50 ERA.
He allowed three runs while striking out seven in six innings of a 6-3 victory at Seattle on Monday.
Haren went 1-0 with a 4.85 ERA in two visits to Flushing as a member of Arizona, with the most recent coming in a win on Aug. 3, 2009.
The hurler has also proved effective with a bat, hitting .364 with six doubles, one homer and seven RBIs in 22 games with the Diamondbacks last year before being dealt to the Angels in July.
“I hope expectations aren’t too high for my bat,” Haren said. “It’s been a while since I’ve swung one.”
Torii Hunter(notes), hitting .232 on the season, is red hot when visiting NL opponents—batting .356 with five homers and 20 RBIs in 24 games since joining the Angels in 2008. The right fielder had three hits and an RBI on Friday as he improved to 9 for 19 with two doubles, one homer and seven RBIs in five games against New York.
The right fielder is 8 for 16 with one homer and six RBIs in four interleague games this year.
The Mets (34-36) are trying to avoid a three-game slide as they turn to Mike Pelfrey(notes) (3-5, 5.11), who is 0-2 with a 4.42 ERA in six starts since beating Colorado on May 10. However, he’s allowed two runs or fewer in four of those contests while getting no more than three runs of support each time.
Minimal support made Pelfrey the hard-luck loser again in Monday’s 3-1 loss at Pittsburgh. The right-hander allowed two runs and four hits while equaling his season high with six strikeouts in a pitchers’ duel with Paul Maholm(notes).
Pelfrey, 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA in four home interleague starts, got plenty of offensive assistance in his only start against the Angels on June 16, 2008, surrendering six runs in six innings of a 9-6 road victory.
The center fielder is 4 for 6 with three extra-base hits, including a homer, off Haren.