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Dan Haren Insists Back Feels Fine After 2nd Straight Poor Start

In what is a recurring story, Dan Haren struggled for the Angels and was knocked out of the game early Thursday. Haren was pulled in the fourth inning for the second straight start after allowing five runs. Despite his struggles, Haren insists his lower back problems are not to blame.

Haren was on the DL July 4-21 with lower-back tightness and has struggled all season, with an 8-10 record and 4.90 ERA. Over his last 10 starts, dating back to June 9, he has posted a 6.92 ERA.

In his first three games back from the DL it appeared he was back on the right track, going six innings in each start and earning two wins and a no-decision. The last two starts have been a different story, as Haren hasn't lasted through the fourth inning in either game. Yet Haren insists that his back issues have not resurfaced and believes he is improving.

For more on the Angels, check out Halos Heaven.