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Angels' Dan Haren has whiff of success against Arizona

ANGELS FYI

Facing the team that traded him to the Angels in 2010, right-hander Dan Haren strikes out seven in three innings of a 3-0 victory over the Diamondbacks.

March 13, 2012|By Lance Pugmire

Reporting from Scottsdale, Ariz. — Angels pitcher Dan Haren was impressive Tuesday in his second spring performance, striking out seven Arizona Diamondbacks in three innings.

Haren mowed down the heart of Arizona's order — Justin Upton, Miguel Montero and Chris Young — then came back to close his outing with four consecutive strikeouts, retiring the side with 10 pitches in the third inning.

The Angels beat Arizona, 3-0, on a combined two-hitter that included three hitless innings by reliever Ariel Pena.

"The location of my fastball [clocked at 90 mph] has been there, and I threw a few more splits than I usually do," Haren said, referring to split-finger pitches. "The most important part of spring is feeling good, and facing guys I know brings out a little more."

Haren was acquired from the Diamondbacks by the Angels on July 25, 2010, in exchange for left-hander Joe Saunders, reliever Tyler Skaggs and two others.

Haren said he avoided throwing breaking balls, but will next time out. "As it gets closer to the season, you let go of the fastball to see where it's at," he said. "This [outing] was about mechanics, going in and out, throwing about 10 splits. I'm working on something specific now."

Trout held out

Mike Trout, the Angels' top minor league prospect, was supposed to make his spring game debut, but was "a little stiff" after running the bases hard in the morning and was left behind in Tempe.

"We don't want to take any chances," Angels Manager Mike Scioscia said, adding that Trout's first game would likely be in "a couple more days."

Trout, 20, was beset by a mysterious flulike illness earlier in camp that caused him to lose 10 pounds. With a clean bill of health and the weight coming back, Trout was supposed to enter Tuesday's game as an outfield substitute.

"I look at it this way: Go out and play hard, put up some numbers and see what happens," Trout said. "I'm going to do everything I can so they should know where to put me."

Tall order

The Angels sent 7-foot-1 pitcher Loek Van Mil back to minor league camp after two spring game appearances he described as "subpar at best."

Van Mil, 27, from the Netherlands, gave up five hits, including a home run, in 3 1/3 innings. "It was expected. I knew I wasn't going to make the team," he said. "It was a dream."

Van Mil, a hard thrower, said that after walking 23 batters in 66 innings last year at double-A Arkansas, he took it upon himself to decrease his velocity to have better control of his pitches.

"Apparently, I'm not that guy," Van Mil said.

Informed of his demotion Tuesday morning, he kept quiet about it so as not to spoil his family's visit to the Grand Canyon.

In minor league camp, Van Mil said he'll focus on "throwing harder, being aggressive and not as perfect."

Morales rests

After running bases two consecutive days, Kendrys Morales experienced some tightness in his lower right leg and was rested.

Morales, who's had two surgeries to correct an ankle fractured in May 2010, was aiming for Thursday as his spring game debut at designated hitter, either with the Angels or in a minor league game.

"We'll give him a day, have him run [Wednesday] and see where he's at for possibly playing later this week," Scioscia said. "The ankle's fine, he just has to get his legs in shape."

lance.pugmire@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimespugmire

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