Angels go quietly in 5-0 loss to Diamondbacks
Instead of sticking it to the team that traded him away, Angels pitcher Dan Haren couldn’t get his Friday night pitches past enough sticks.
The Arizona Diamondbacks, leaning on a three-run home run off Haren by second baseman Aaron Hill in the sixth inning, defeated their former two-time All-Star, 5-0, at Angel Stadium.
“I wanted it bad. I felt great, and I didn’t make too many mistakes, but the ones I did make, they made me pay,” said Haren, who was traded to the Angels from Arizona in 2010.
Haren (4-7) was outdueled by Arizona’s 24-year-old starter Trevor Cahill (5-5), who calmed torrid Angels hitters Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo and struck out eight in seven shutout innings.
“That breaking ball was tough,” said Trumbo, who struck out three times in a combined three-hitter by Cahill, Brad Ziegler and David Hernandez. “It was tough to decide if it was a strike or ball, then you’re walking back to the dugout.”
The loss cooled the Angels’ 16-5 run since May 22, dropping them four games behind American League West leader Texas. It was the first time the team had been shut out since May 14.
The Angels’ highlight belonged to slugger Albert Pujols, who went 0 for 4, but collected his 2011 World Series ring from former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa, according to team officials.
Arizona (31-32) opened the game with three consecutive hits off Haren. A leadoff double to left by Chris Young was followed by a run-scoring single to right by Jason Kubel.
Haren recovered to retire 14 of the next 15 batters, and Miguel Montero was erased after a leadoff single in the fourth by Hill’s double-play grounder.
Yet, Cahill twice struck out Trout and Trumbo through four innings. Trout began Friday batting .403 in his prior 17 games, and Trumbo had hit .358 with eight home runs and 20 runs batted in in that stretch.
“He mixed it up good,” Trout said of Cahill. “You couldn’t sit on one pitch.”
Cahill’s strikeout total reached eight in the fifth inning, but Erick Aybar responded with two outs by belting a two-out double to right-center. The tension built when No. 9 batter Hank Conger was hit on the right foot, bringing Trout up again.
But Trout hit a bouncer to second base, ending the inning.
In the Arizona sixth, Kubel doubled and reached third with two outs.
Angels Manager Mike Scioscia visited Haren to remind him how difficult cleanup hitter Montero had been two innings earlier -- when Montero fouled off repeated pitches before lining a single to left-center on Haren’s 12th pitch of the at-bat.
So Haren intentionally walked Montero, only to see Hill slam his seventh homer of the season, a three-run blast over the left-field wall.
Haren said he didn’t mind conceding to Montero.
“The bigger problem was falling behind 1-0 to Hill,” Haren said. “I took my chances, and he hit a mistake,” a pitch Scioscia identified as a cut fastball. “One bad pitch. The game was over there. I have no excuses.”
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