- 142 wins
- 110 wins
ANAHEIM -- Dan Haren was cruising.
After allowing three straight singles and a run to start Friday's game, the righty recorded 16 outs against 16 batters and looked to be in full control.
But after a double and an intentional walk in the sixth inning, Aaron Hill took Haren out of his groove. He hit a backbreaking two-out, three-run home run, ensuring Haren of his second loss in three games as the Angels lost, 5-0, to the D-backs in the opener of a three-game series at Angel Stadium.
The loss was the Angels' second in the last seven games and the ninth time they've been shut out this season. It also dropped them four games back of the first-place Rangers in the American League West.
Haren (4-7) lasted 6 1/3 innings, giving up five runs on eight hits, while striking out five. Though the five runs were the most he has surrendered since a 5-0 loss to the Twins on May 8, he said he felt the best he had in a while Friday night in his first start against the D-backs since he was traded to the Angels in July 2010.
"When you get hit around, you don't feel good. You go home, and you feel better next time," Haren said. "It's a weird feeling. I felt great. Just no excuses, really. Got to minimize the mistakes."
After surrendering a one-out double to Jason Kubel and forcing Justin Upton to ground out to second, Haren missed with two cutters to Miguel Montero before deciding to give him the free pass.
The catcher had two quality at-bats against Haren earlier in the game, so the Angels (34-31) decided they wanted a fresh count with Hill.
But after 5 1/3 sharp innings, it was just one pitch to Hill in the sixth that did Haren in, he said.
"Besides that, I felt I made adjustments, came out aggressive, adjusted after giving up the [first-inning] run," Haren said. "I was cruising along and just made that one bad pitch, and the game was over there."
Haren came into the game on the heels of a start in Colorado in which he surrendered 10 hits, including four home runs, but won the game, 11-5, because of his offense.
He had no such support Friday, however.
In his seven-plus innings, D-backs starter Trevor Cahill dominated the Angels, allowing just three hits and six men on base, while striking out a season-high eight. It was the third consecutive strong start for Cahill (5-5), who has allowed just two runs in his last 23 1/3 innings for the D-backs (32-32).
The Angels' biggest threat came in the fifth inning, when they had two men on and two outs, but Mike Trout grounded to second to end the inning. They didn't get a man on base with fewer than two outs against Cahill and hit the ball out of the infield just four times through the first six innings.
"We've seen him with Oakland for a number of times over the years. When he's on, he's got that good sinker," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's tough. We know that. We just couldn't get on base early in innings. We couldn't get on to pressure him a little bit, and he pitches a heck of a game."
Cahill had faced the Angels nine times while with the A's from 2009-11 with a 2.34 ERA, but Mark Trumbo, who had two strikeouts and a groundout against the righty, said he was sharper than he has seen him before.
"Tough to make good decisions at times, whether it's a strike or ball," Trumbo said. "Sometimes you give up on it, and it stays in the zone and you're walking back to the dugout."
From June 4-10, the Angels scored 46 runs in six games with 75 hits. But after the last four games, that seems like ages ago. While they've gone 2-2, the Angels have scored just seven runs total during that span.
But it isn't as if they've done anything different offensively, Trumbo said. The lineup has just run into a rut of facing strong pitching.
"The starters have been doing a really good job," Trumbo said. "It seems like everybody that runs out of the bullpen is throwing mid-90s with a nasty breaking ball. It just seems to go in waves. Sometimes you'll face guys who throw up a ton of zeros, then sometimes you're on the other end of it. I think we're kind of in one of those periods right now."
Joe McIntyre is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.