Los Angeles (82-67) at Baltimore (60-88)

Mostly Cloudy Currently: Baltimore, MD
Temp: 70° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Fri Sep 16, 2011
  • TV: FSW, MASN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Los Angeles Angels are figuring out the most effective use of their rotation to close the gap in the AL West.

One of their top pitchers, Dan Haren(notes), takes the mound in the opener of a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday night, trying to match a career high with his 16th win.

Los Angeles (82-67) has won eight of 11, but still trails Texas in the West. The two close the regular season with a three-game set in Anaheim beginning Sept. 26.

On Wednesday, Jered Weaver(notes) won his 17th game and Mark Trumbo(notes) hit a two-run homer in the sixth en route to a 4-1 victory over Oakland.

“It’s not over yet,” Weaver said. “We still have a lot of goals to accomplish as a team, which is more important. Hopefully we keep winning some ballgames.”

While manager Mike Scioscia said Weaver will definitely pitch on three days rest down the stretch, he added Haren (15-8, 3.06 ERA) and Ervin Santana(notes) may as well.

Haren has won his last two starts while posting a 1.99 ERA over the last three. In two of those games, he faced the club’s aces in Seattle’s Felix Hernandez(notes) and New York’s CC Sabathia(notes).

The right-hander pitched a four-hitter opposite Sabathia in a 6-0 victory, striking out seven without a walk.

Haren is one win away from matching his career high, set in 2008 with Arizona. He is 4-0 with a 1.84 ERA in his last seven September starts.

Haren has won his last four decisions against the Orioles and gave up three runs in seven innings of an 8-3 victory Aug. 19.

Former Angel Vladimir Guerrero(notes) is batting .368 with three homers against Haren.

Los Angeles, which is 18-19 against the AL East, closes its road schedule at Toronto following this series.

However, Baltimore is proving to be no pushover. Since Aug. 22, it has split eight games against AL East-leading New York and is coming off a series win over wild-card contending Tampa Bay.

The Orioles won the final two of the three-game series, including a 6-2 victory Wednesday. Jeremy Guthrie(notes) pitched seven strong innings and Matt Wieters(notes), Chris Davis(notes) and Nolan Reimold(notes) all homered.

“A couple of their guys were like, ‘You know you’re out of it, right?’” Davis told the Orioles’ official website. “But the biggest thing for us is to finish strong. … We don’t want to just lay down, so I think there’s a sense of pride we carry with ourselves to go out there and compete.”

Wieters’ homer was his 20th of the season, third in as many games and ninth in his last 20 contests. Wieters, though, is 1 for 5 against Haren.

Baltimore will hand the ball to Tommy Hunter(notes) (3-4, 5.32), who has lost his last two starts. He has a 6.16 ERA in three outings this month after giving up six runs - four earned - in 6 1-3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Toronto on Sunday.

The right-hander is 1-4 with an 8.79 ERA against the Angels. He’s made a relief appearance and a start against them this year, allowing season highs of six earned runs and 10 hits in 6 1-3 innings of a 9-8, 12-inning loss Aug. 20.

Torii Hunter(notes) is 4 for 16 with two homers against Hunter.

The Angels have won four straight over the Orioles and took two of three in Baltimore from July 22-24.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Haren LAD vs. T. Hunter Bal
16-10 Record 4-4
3.17 ERA 4.68
192 K 45
33 BB 15
1.02 WHIP 1.36

Scoreboard

Friday, Sep 16