ANAHEIM, Calif. >> Fresh off his first relief appearance since the 2004 World Series, Dan Haren showed the Cleveland Indians why he’s been such a successful starting pitcher in the major leagues. And he did it with his most dominant performance.
The three-time All-Star pitched his first career one-hitter, allowing only Shin-Soo Choo’s clean single in the fourth inning, and the Los Angeles Angels snapped the Indians’ eight-game winning streak with a 2-0 victory last night.
“I was going at them pretty much the whole night,” Haren said. “I was pitching with a controlled aggressiveness. It was such a close game, I didn’t want to leave anything out over the plate — but I didn’t want to get burned with walks, either.”
Haren’s third start of the season, which required him to throw 125 pitches, was pushed back a day after he threw 13 pitches in a perfect 14th inning on Saturday night against Toronto and got credit for the Angels’ 6-5 victory. That relief appearance ended his string of 203 consecutive starts.
“He just told me he’s ready for the pen on Friday if we need him,” manager Mike Scioscia said with a grin. “But hopefully, we’re past those days.”
Haren (3-0) struck out eight and walked two in his third shutout and 12th complete game in 225 starts. Choo’s single to center field came with one out in the fourth.
“What was special about tonight was that he pitched with his back against the wall the whole night,” Scioscia said. “There wasn’t any margin for error. They have some guys on that team who can really drive the ball, but Dan made some terrific pitches to keep those guys down all night.”
Haren and Jered Weaver have combined for all six of the Angels’ wins through the team’s first 11 games and have a cumulative 0.79 ERA. Haren is 7-0 with a 1.41 ERA over his last 11 starts.
“It was going to have to take a well-pitched game, and a guy like Haren to beat us,” Cleveland manager Manny Acta said. “Haren was on his game. He was in complete command from inning one. He’s one of the best pitchers in the game. He’s a No.1 guy on a staff, and those guys are fortunate to have two of them.”
The Indians’ winning streak was their longest since a 10-game string in August 2008.