Dan Haren didn't make it through the fourth inning against Seattle… (Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty…)
Dan Haren’s durability was supposed to pace a playoff run and position the Angels pitcher for a lucrative payoff in his contract year.
Instead, Haren, who made more starts than any pitcher between 2005 and 2011, has been sidelined by back pain, and Saturday he reverted to the uncharacteristic ineffective outings that plagued him before going on the disabled list in early July.
Haren didn’t make it through four innings, and the Angels were defeated by the Seattle Mariners, 7-4.
The right-hander labored through 32 pitches in the second inning, when the Mariners took a 3-0 lead with a hit batter, a walk and three singles, including a two-run hit by Dustin Ackley with two outs.
Haren’s command clearly betrayed him, and he snapped his glove at a ball tossed back by the catcher after throwing another ball one pitch after Ackley’s hit.
The frustration grew an inning later when Seattle cleanup hitter John Jaso homered over the right-field wall for a 4-0 lead.
That marked the career-high ninth consecutive game Haren (8-9) has surrendered a home run.
Haren was on the disabled list for most of July with lower back tightness, and he missed a start at month’s end because of the ailment.
In the fourth, Seattle catcher Miguel Olivo grounded an infield single to shortstop and moved to second base on Erick Aybar’s throwing error -- one of three Angels miscues. Haren then threw a wild pitch and walked his third batter.
A sacrifice fly and an Ackley grounder that bounced off first baseman Albert Pujols for an error forced Haren out.
Reliever Jerome Williams surrendered a run-scoring single before the fourth could end, with Haren’s earned-run average inflating to 4.68 -- more than a run over his career 3.59 ERA.
Seattle’s run support complemented a strong outing by Mariners right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma (3-3), an 11-season veteran of the Japanese League who began starting for the Mariners on July 2.
Iwakuma kept the Angels (60-54) scoreless until the fifth inning, when Vernon Wells singled in a run.
Starting in place of Mark Trumbo, Wells also hit a two-run homer to force Iwakuma from the game in the eighth and cap a 3-for-3 night after going 0 for 16 in returning from the disabled list with a right thumb injury July 27.
Kendrys Morales hit his 15th homer of the season in the ninth.
Before the Wells blast, the Angels Stadium crowd was lifted from the lull of a lopsided outcome on a sweltering evening in the eighth when Angels center fielder Mike Trout leaped high to rob Olivo of a home run at the 400-foot wall mark, landing to relay an assist to Pujols at first for a double play.
It was Trout’s third homer-robbing catch of the season.
The Angels dropped 1 1/2 games behind Oakland for the American League’s final wild-card spot.
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