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Dan Haren's debut is a hit, but not the kind the Angels had in mind

The newly acquired pitcher is struck on the forearm by a line drive and has to leave in fifth inning of Angels' 6-3 loss to Boston. The injury does not appear serious, but the team's situation is — 7 1/2 games behind Texas in AL West after its fifth defeat in six games.

July 26, 2010|By Ben Bolch

It was a shot in the arm, all right. Just not the kind the Angels wanted.

Dan Haren's first start as an Angel ended abruptly in the fifth inning Monday night when a line drive off the bat of Kevin Youkilis smacked into the pitcher's right forearm.

The right-hander crouched in pain before walking off the field, his debut prematurely finished during the Angels' 6-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox at Angel Stadium.

Haren was diagnosed as having a bruise on his forearm and is scheduled to be reexamined Tuesday by Dr. Lewis Yocum, the Angels' team orthopedist.

"It hurt, but I didn't feel it hit any bone," Haren said, adding that he hoped to throw off a mound Wednesday to test the arm and make his next start as scheduled Saturday. "That was the good thing."

Boston cleanup hitter David Ortiz delivered more blows with two homers in the same ballpark where he won the home run derby exactly two weeks earlier as part of the All-Star game festivities.

Ortiz hit a solo homer against Haren in the third inning and a towering two-run shot off reliever Fernando Rodney in the eighth, sending the Angels to their fifth defeat in six games. They fell into a virtual tie with Oakland for second place in the American League West, a season-high 7½ games behind Texas — and nine back of the Rangers in the loss column.

Hideki Matsui tried to revive a slumbering offense with a two-run homer off Boston reliever Scott Atchison in the eighth, but it wasn't enough on a night when the Angels failed to score after loading the bases with no outs in the second inning and were 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.

Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon recorded a four-out save, getting some breathing room when J.D. Drew hit a two-run double in the ninth off Angels reliever Michael Kohn, making his major league debut.

It was also not the kind of first impression Haren (0-1) was hoping to make after coming over from Arizona in a trade designed to bolster the Angels' rotation. He gave up seven hits and two runs in 42/3 innings with eight strikeouts, failing to emerge from a six-week slump in which he hasn't recorded a victory.

Haren acknowledged that he was "definitely nervous" going into the game and said he was throwing too many strikes against an aggressive team that capitalized.

After Bobby Abreu handed Haren and the Angels a 1-0 lead with a first-inning homer, the Red Sox tied the score in the second after Angels center fielder Torii Hunter nearly made a spectacular leaping catch at the wall on a drive by Adrian Beltre, only to have the ball glance off his glove for a triple, Hunter momentarily losing track of the ball as it rolled around the outfield.

Things further deteriorated after Haren retired the first two batters in the fifth, Youkilis redirecting a 93-mph fastball back at the pitcher's arm before he could get out of the way.

"It looked very serious," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said. "It obviously got him somewhere other than the leather. It got him flush too."

Haren didn't even attempt a warmup pitch to test his arm before walking off the field alongside Scioscia and trainer Rick Smith.

"They thought it was in my best interest to call it a day," Haren said.

ben.bolch@latimes.com

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