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Dan Haren Hopes Fourth Time Is A Charm, Against Royals

(Sports Network) - Dan Haren is still searching for his first win in an Angels uniform and will try again tonight in the second test of a three-game series versus the Kansas City Royals at the Big A.

Haren is 0-2 with a 3.60 earned run average in his first three starts with the LA Angels of Anaheim and did not figure into the decision of last Thursday's 5-4 loss at Baltimore. He worked 6 1/3 innings and yielded four runs and 10 hits. Haren went the distance in a loss versus Texas on July 31.

The right-hander, who went 7-8 in 21 starts with Arizona before being dealt to the American League, is 3-1 with a 2.11 ERA in six career starts against KC.

Anaheim has won three of its last four games and opened this series with Monday's 6-4 victory thanks to a big night from Bobby Abreu. The veteran outfielder went 3-for-5 with a home run, four RBI and two runs scored. Hideki Matsui also knocked in a run for the Angels, who got a subpar showing from winning pitcher Ervin Santana. Santana tossed 6 1/3 innings of three-run ball and Brian Fuentes later posted his 22nd save in the ninth.

"I didn't have my best stuff tonight," said Santana, who lasted just 3 2/3 innings at Baltimore last Wednesday. "After the fifth inning, nothing was working. My teammates picked me up defensively and offensively."

The Halos are still alive in the postseason hunt and sit 8 1/2 games behind Texas in the NL West standings.

Angels All-Star outfielder Torii Hunter will serve the final game of his four- game suspension handed down after he was ejected from last Friday's victory at Detroit. Hunter threw a bag of balls onto the field during his tirade, and is batting .294 with 18 homers and 70 RBI this season.

Kansas City has lost two in a row and four of its last five games. Sean O'Sullivan started for the Royals last night against his former Angels squad and was rocked for six runs on 10 hits in 6 1/3 innings.

Yuniesky Betancourt finished 3-for-3 with a home run and two RBI, while Billy Butler contributed two hits and knocked in a run for the Royals.

"We swung the bats better tonight," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "If you look at Sullivan's performance, a lot was good and a lot was not so good. He just has to learn to make better pitches. Our offense kept battling right to the very end."

The Royals are 2-5 on a nine-game road trip and are scheduled to hand the ball to Bryan Bullington Tuesday night. Bullington is 0-1 with a 5.14 earned run average in five relief appearances this season and fired two shutout innings at Oakland in last Monday's 6-0 loss.

Bullington, a right-hander, has never faced the Angels.

Anaheim leads the 2010 series with Kansas City by a 5-3 margin after taking nine of 10 matchups a season ago.