(Sports Network) - In danger of falling out of the race for the American League West crown, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made a big and bold move in acquiring ace pitcher Dan Haren on Sunday.
Shortly before Sunday's finale of a four-game finale with division-rival Texas, Los Angeles acquired Haren from Arizona for pitcher Joe Saunders and three prospects, one to be named later. Haren gives the Angels a solid 1-2 punch in the rotation along with Jered Weaver, and the move can be viewed as Los Angeles' counter of the Rangers getting former Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee.
The Angels, though, dropped a 6-4 decision on the field and lost three of four to the first-place Rangers to fall seven games back of first place. Los Angeles has also lost five of its last seven overall.
"They did what they had to do," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said of Texas. "We came to their house and they held it down."
Hunter and Hideki Matsui each homered in the loss, while Trevor Bell gave up four runs over just 3 1/3 innings in his first start of the season.
Haren, who grew up in California, was scheduled to start on Tuesday for Arizona, but will start tonight instead in Anaheim. Per the LAAngelsInsider.com:
Dan Haren will start tonight vs. Clay Buccholz. Joel Pineiro pushed back to Wednesday afternoon
Boston will send out a 10-game winner of its own in Clay Buchholz, who makes his second start since returning from a strained left hamstring suffered on June 26.
The right-hander won seven of eight starts before his injury, but was dealt a loss in his return on Wednesday after getting hammered for five runs on six hits and three walks over just four innings of work versus Oakland. Buchholz fell to 10-5 with a 2.81 ERA on the season.
Buchholz, who is 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA in eight road starts this year, recorded a win over the Angels on May 3 despite yielding four runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. He got plenty of support in a 17-8 win and is 2-2 with a 6.35 ERA in his career versus Los Angeles.
While the Angels were able to acquire Haren prior to this Saturday's non- waiver trade deadline, the Red Sox are set to get back their prize pickup before last year's deadline, catcher Victor Martinez.
Martinez has been out since suffering a fractured left thumb on June 27 and is hitting .289 with nine homers and 38 RBI in 66 games.
"I actually think he's probably going to be ready," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told his team's website before Sunday's game versus Seattle. "It seems kind of silly to make the decision [Sunday]. He's going to catch some more guys and if he comes in and says, 'Hey, I'm hurting,' we're not going to do it. I think all things point to him being ready to go."
The Red Sox could use Martinez, given that they have scored just five runs in their last three games. They dropped a 4-2 decision to Seattle on Sunday, their fourth loss in six games.
Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre each knocked in a run for the Red Sox, who won the first two tests of the four-game set before dropping the last two. Boston is now 3-4 on a 10-game road trip and eight games back of first-place New York in the AL East. It also trails Tampa Bay by five games for the Wild Card spot.
The Red Sox swept a four-game home set over the Angels from May 3-6, but have lost seven of their last nine at Anaheim.