(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim are aiming to win a fifth straight game for the first time in over three months, but to do so they will need Scott Kazmir to get himself on track.
Kazmir tries for his first victory in seven starts this evening when the Angels visit the Cleveland Indians for the opener of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
A favorable weekend series versus the Seattle Mariners that resulted in a three-game sweep for the Angels helped them run their current winning streak to four games. Overall in 2010, Los Angeles took 15 of 19 from Seattle after winning Sunday's meeting, 3-0.
Dan Haren threw seven scoreless innings, working around three hits and three walks for the Angels, who last won five straight as part of a six-game run from June 2-7.
"I'm happy with the way I have been throwing the last couple of weeks," Haren said. "The ball is coming out a lot better. I made good pitches when I had to."
Mike Napoli hit a solo homer and scored on Juan Rivera's single in the sixth inning to pace Los Angeles' offense.
The club now looks to Kazmir, who is 0-4 with a 4.28 earned run average over his winless streak. After losing three straight starts, the 26-year-old did not factor into the decision of Wednesday's 4-3 extra-inning victory over the Indians, despite allowing just one run on two hits and three walks over six innings.
The left-handed Kazmir is 8-13 with a 5.98 ERA this year and 1-2 with a 6.09 ERA in seven career starts versus Cleveland.
Josh Tomlin opposed Kazmir in last week's 16-inning marathon and also got a no-decision. The righty carried a no-hitter through 4 1/3 innings and ended up yielding three runs on three hits, including two homers, over six innings in his first ever start against the Angels.
The 25-year-old Tomlin is 3-3 with a 4.18 ERA in eight starts this year, the first of his career, and his ERA in three home starts is a full point lower.
The Indians carry a two-game losing streak into this game after dropping Sunday's rubber match of a three-game set with Minnesota, 6-2.
Luis Valbuena had a two-run double, but committed a costly error in the first inning for the Indians, who scored only four runs in this three-game set. Michael Brantley extended his career-best hit streak to 13 games with a 2- for-4 effort and is hitting .286 (18-for-63) over the run.
"We shot ourselves in the foot in the first inning by giving them two extra outs," said Indians manager Manny Acta. "When you are playing good teams, you can't give them extra outs."
Cleveland starter Mitch Talbot left after just three batters due to shoulder inflammation but was charged with three runs allowed in the loss. Justin Masterson permitted three runs -- one earned -- in seven innings of relief.
These two clubs have split six meetings so far this year and are meeting in Cleveland for the first time in 2010.