Los Angeles (84-70) at Toronto (78-76)

Cloudy Currently: Toronto, ON
Temp: 79° F
  • Game info: 7:07 pm EDT Wed Sep 21, 2011
  • TV: FSW, RSN
Preview | Box Score | Recap

With their playoff hopes flickering, the Los Angeles Angels need Dan Haren(notes) to come through in a big way.

He has been unable to answer the call lately on the road.

Haren will try to avoid matching the longest road losing streak of his career when the Angels face the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.

Los Angeles (84-70) will need to be nearly flawless over the remaining eight games of the regular season as it tries to erase the 3 1/2-game gap on wild card-leading Boston. The team is further back in the AL West, but hosts first-place Texas in a season-ending three-game set next week.

“We don’t have any wiggle room any more. It’s do or die for us,” rookie Mark Trumbo(notes) said.

Haren (15-9, 3.24 ERA) hasn’t provided much help to the Angels’ postseason chances, with each of his last four road games ending in Los Angeles defeats. He’s been charged with the last three losses while compiling a 7.41 ERA.

Haren lost four consecutive road starts with Oakland from April 23-May 26, 2005, the longest as a visitor in his nine-year career.

The right-hander was hit hard Friday, surrendering seven runs and seven hits in five innings of an 8-3 loss at Baltimore.

“Everyone knows that every game is important. I feel terrible,” Haren said. “We have some games to make up and time is running out.”

Some run support could be helpful to Haren, who has been backed by one run over his last three road games. He’s sorely needed the help in five career visits to Toronto (78-76), compiling a 6.47 ERA while receiving an average of 9.0 runs of support to win all three decisions.

The Angels collected 15 hits with six doubles and two homers en route to a 10-6 win Tuesday after dropping the opener of this four-game series 3-2 in 10 innings a night earlier.

“It’s in there,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “If our guys can swing the bats to their potential, it’s going to put us on a good run. Needless to say, we need it.”

Trumbo is 5 for 12 with two homers and five RBIs in three games. He homered for a second consecutive game and tied his career high with four RBIs on Tuesday. His three hits in this series match his total from his first six games - 19 at-bats - versus the Blue Jays.

“The scary thing is he’s still learning his swing, still learning pitchers in this league,” said former Blue Jay Vernon Wells(notes), who has six hits in three games. “It’s going to be fun watching him grow over the next few years.”

Toronto will give the ball to Dustin McGowan(notes) (0-0, 7.50) for the fourth time since he returned from right shoulder surgery.

The right-hander was solid Friday, allowing three runs and three hits with four strikeouts in five innings before Jose Molina’s(notes) walkoff single clinched a 5-4 win over New York.

“(Friday) was the sharpest of the three outings he’s had,” manager John Farrell told the team’s official website. “He had his curveball mixed in enough against left-handers, and another positive step in his overall progression.”

McGowan is 1-3 with a 3.91 ERA in four starts against the Angles, but hasn’t faced them since that lone victory on May 30, 2008.

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Starting Pitchers

D. Haren ChC vs. D. McGowan Phi
16-10 Record 0-2
3.17 ERA 6.43
192 K 20
33 BB 13
1.02 WHIP 1.57


Wednesday, Sep 21