Athletics-Angels Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 17, 2012
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The Los Angeles Angels returned home and recorded a much-needed win after a rough road trip. Now, they hope to get Dan Haren back on track. Haren will try to help the Angels win consecutive games for the first time this season Tuesday night against the Oakland Athletics. After going 2-4 at Minnesota and New York, Los Angeles (4-6) avoided a third consecutive home loss with a 6-0 win over Oakland on Monday. Kendrys Morales had three hits, including a three-run shot for his first homer since breaking his ankle celebrating a game-ending grand slam May 29, 2010. "It had been a long time,'' said Morales, who had four RBIs after going 0 for 14 in his previous four games. "I never lost faith. I knew I could do it. I just need to keep working and do it better.'' While Los Angeles scored at least five runs for the third straight game, Jered Weaver threw 6 2-3 solid innings and three relievers preserved the shutout to provide a boost for a staff that had a 5.26 ERA coming into the contest. "It's always good to win," catcher Chris Iannetta said. "Hopefully, we can keep this going." The Angels hope Monday's mound success will rub off on Haren (0-1, 6.97 ERA), who has allowed eight runs and 20 hits over 10 1-3 innings while striking out 12 in his first two starts. He yielded only a three-run homer to Joe Mauer over five innings of Thursday's 10-9 loss at Minnesota. The right-hander has not made three straight starts of fewer than six innings in the same year since doing so in the last four of his 2003 rookie season with St. Louis. "I've been able to strike guys out, minimize the walks. But it just seems like everything is falling in right now,'' Haren said. "It's just one of those times. Just got to keep working hard.'' Haren went 0-2 with a 3.98 ERA in three starts against the A's - with whom he pitched from 2005-07 - in 2011 while receiving an average of just 1.33 runs of support in those contests. The good news for Haren is the A's (4-7) are batting .198 this season and have been shut out twice during their current three-game skid. Josh Reddick had two hits Monday for Oakland, which went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position. "Frustration mounts when you hit the ball right at people,'' Oakland manager Bob Melvin said. ''We'll keep going through it.'' Recently named the fifth-starter, Tyson Ross will be recalled from Triple-A Sacramento to make his 2012 debut for the A's on Tuesday. The right-hander went 2-2 with a 2.61 ERA in six starts last season for the Oakland before he suffered a strained left oblique in May, then pitched in the minors the rest of the season. Ross is 0-1 with a 2.53 ERA in two starts against the Angels - both in Anaheim. He allowed four hits in seven scoreless innings of a 2-1, 10-inning win at Los Angeles on April 27. He'll get his first look at slugger Albert Pujols, who went 2 for 4 with a double Monday. Though Pujols has no homers and four RBIs for his new team, he's hit safely in six straight games. "You can't think about home runs," Pujols told the Angels' official website. "You have to think about seeing the ball and trying to put a good swing on it."
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