While Aaron Harang has experienced plenty of ups and downs, he was at his best during his last start.
He’s never had any success against the Los Angeles Angels, though.
Harang aims for his first win in six tries against the Angels, who look to continue their home dominance of the Seattle Mariners in the first of four Monday night.
Acquired from Colorado in April, Harang (3-6, 5.60 ERA) has posted mixed results since joining the Mariners (31-39). The veteran right-hander has compiled a 1.76 ERA in six of his outings and a 17.12 mark in the other four.
Harang had everything working during Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Houston, striking out a season-high 10 and walking none in a two-hitter.
“He was fantastic,” manage Eric Wedge said. “When he commands his fastball and it rides like it was (Tuesday), and he’s able to leverage it downhill and climb when he wants to, he’s real good. When he does that his secondary stuff is locked in, too.”
Harang, who’s allowed two or zero runs in five of his last seven games, also shut out San Diego on May 27.
“It comes with feel,” he said. “Some days you feel great, when you can throw every pitch whenever you want in any count. And there are other days when you can’t throw one pitch for strikes.”
Harang, in contrast, has been awful against Los Angeles (30-39) this year, yielding a combined 12 runs and 15 hits - four homers - in losing both his starts spanning 6 2-3 innings. He’s gone 0-3 over five career outings against the Angels while posting an 8.02 ERA - his second-highest mark against any team he’s faced more than once.
Harang now tries to lead the Mariners to a rare road win over the Angels, who’ve hit 40 homers while going 26-9 over their last 35 home matchups in the series.
Seattle had won four of five before falling 10-2 at Oakland on Sunday. Hisashi Iwakuma labored through five innings and the bullpen gave up four homers over the next three frames, surrendering six runs and nine hits.
Mariners relievers own a 6.12 ERA over the last 10 games.
“When you know you can turn the ball over with a lead it gives you confidence,” catcher Mike Zunino told MLB’s official website. “It’s one of those things that as a group we have to be a little bit better.”
The Angels, meanwhile, saw their three-game winning streak snapped Sunday with a 6-5 loss to the New York Yankees. Los Angeles scored five runs in the ninth inning to make things interesting before Albert Pujols struck out with the bases loaded to end the game.
“The fight’s always there, it’s just we really executed well in the ninth inning,” manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think some guys off the bench did a good job with some situational hitting. Unfortunately, we couldn’t get that tying run across.”
The Angels now turn to Jason Vargas (5-4, 3.74), who allowed three runs and seven hits over 6 2-3 innings Tuesday in a 3-2 loss at Baltimore. The left-hander could benefit from getting back home, where he’s 4-1 with a 3.21 ERA.
Vargas, who spent the previous four years with Seattle before signing with Los Angeles this offseason, went the distance against his former team in a 2-1 road loss April 28. Former Angel Kendrys Morales mired in a 2-for-26 slump, is 4 for 10 with two homers against Vargas since the start of 2012.
Mike Trout who is 5 for 10 with five walks in his last three games, went 6 for 9 with five RBIs and four runs as Los Angeles swept a two-game home series from Seattle last month.