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Haren, Athletics look to finish season strong against Angels

Sep 30, 2006 - 3:41 PM Oakland (92-68) at LA Angels (88-72) 10:05 pm EDT

ANAHEIM, California (Ticker) -- Dan Haren has struggled against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim this season. On Friday, he looks to turn it around in his last start before the postseason.

Haren will take the hill for the Oakland Athletics in the third game of a season-ending four-game series against the Angels.

The Athletics clinched the American League West Division title on Tuesday with a 12-3 victory over Seattle. With a playoff spot wrapped up, this four-game series between the two divisional rivals has lost much of its luster.

Haren (14-13, 4.11 ERA) is 1-3 with a 4.76 ERA in five starts against Anaheim this season. He lost to the Angels in his last start on Sunday, giving up six runs - five earned - and seven hits in six innings in a 7-1 loss.

The 26-year-old Haren has struggled after the All-Star break this season, going 8-6 with a 4.94 ERA in 14 starts.

He will be opposed by Joe Saunders (7-3, 4.11), who had success against the A's in his only start against the AL West's best team.

The rookie Saunders allowed two runs and five hits in seven innings of a 3-2 win on August 1.

Anaheim has won eight of its last 10, while Oakland is 5-5 during that same span.

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