Dan Haren (4-0) and the Angels stay hot in win over White Sox
Dan Haren ran his record to 4-0 by holding the Chicago White Sox scoreless through six innings Sunday, pitching the Angels to a 4-2 victory and a sweep of the teams' three-game series.
Haren, who threw a one-hit shutout in his last outing, was almost as good for most of Sunday, striking out four of the first five batters he faced and allowing just three harmless singles through 6 1/3 innings. He retired nine in a row at one point before Carlos Quentin broke the spell with a one-out double off the center-field wall in the seventh. Alex Rios then singled to the infield, marking the first time in 26 innings Haren has allowed two runners to reach base in the same inning.
A.J. Pierzynski followed with a single of his own to score Quentin, snapping Haren's scoreless streak at 18 2/3 innings. Haren faced one more hitter, Alexei Ramirez, who drove in another run with a single to left.
The Angels then turned to a quartet of relievers -- Hisanori Takahashi, Fernando Rodriguez, Fernando Rodney and Jordan Walden -- to get the last eight outs. It wasn't easy, though, with Walden loading the bases on a double and two walks before retiring Juan Pierre on a fly ball to end the game.
By then the Angels had given Haren and his bullpen more than enough offensive cushion. Maicer Izturis got the scoring started by doubling and scoring in each of his first two at-bats. He added a single in the seventh, giving him three consecutive three-hit games and leaving him 9 for 14 in the series.
Mark Trumbo added a solo homer, his second of the season, into the Angels bullpen in right-center in the fourth and Vernon Wells tripled off the top of the center-field wall and scored in the sixth.
The win was the fifth in a row for the Angels, who are 9-2 after losing three of their first four games to start the season.
-- Kevin Baxter, reporting from Chicago
Photo: Angels starting pitcher Dan Haren works against the White Sox on Sunday. Credit: Paul Beaty / Associated Press