Dan Haren was, by the Dodgers’ standards, something of a quiet pickup during the off-season.
He was a 33-year-old right-hander coming off what appeared a mediocre season (10-14, 4.67 earned-run average). He was signed for one season and $10 million, not some multi-year, $100-million-plus deal.
But Haren could prove a key acquisition to the Dodgers, who have him penciled in as their No. 4 starter. Haren looked ready to fill the role Thursday, appearing sharp in throwing four scoreless innings against the Angels.
With Scott Van Slyke supplying the offense with the Dodgers’ second grand slam in as many days, the game was called after 10 innings in a 4-4 tie with the Angels at Tempe Diablo Stadium.
Haren was scheduled to go only three innings Thursday in his second exhibition start, but things went so smoothly against his former Angels teammates, he went one extra. He gave up three hits, did not walk a batter and struck out three.
That looked like the pitcher who seemed to get it together in the second half last season for the Nationals, going 6-4 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.02 walks plus hits per inning pitched.
With the Dodgers crossing fingers that Josh Beckett will continue to look strong after his surgery to remove a rib, Chad Billingsley not expected back until sometime in late May and with Paul Maholm the only other real veteran starter on the roster, the Dodgers need Haren to come through in the fourth spot.
Haren has won at least 10 games nine times during his career, with a 3.74 ERA.
The Angels outhit the Dodgers, 11-5, but could scrape only one run against the Dodgers' first three pitchers until scoring three times in the bottom of the ninth. Javy Guerra threw two scoreless innings for the Dodgers.
C.J. Wilson started for the Angels and threw four scoreless innings, holding the Dodgers without a hit and striking out four. The Angels tied the game on a three-run homer by pinch-hitter C.J. Cron in the bottom of the ninth off Daniel Moskos.
The Dodgers were also involved in their first experience of replay. In the first inning, Mike Trout hit a sinking liner to center that Yasiel Puig mistakenly made a late dive for. The ball ricocheted to the wall, but Puig hustled to retrieve it and hit cut-off man Hanley Ramirez, who fired home to nip Trout and avoid the inside-the-park home run.
It was a close play and Angels Manager Mike Scioscia immediately was out of the dugout. After a quick review, the safe call stood.
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