Dan Haren makes rehab start

Updated: July 17, 2012, 1:17 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- Dan Haren expects to rejoin the Los Angeles Angels' struggling rotation against the first-place Texas Rangers this weekend after completing a 65-pitch rehab outing Monday with Class A Inland Empire.

Haren, out since July 3 with lower-back inflammation, allowed two runs on seven hits and no walks in five innings. His fastball, according to the in-stadium radar gun, hovered around 88 mph. He also got off the mound to cover first base, completing a double play to end the fourth inning.

"It felt good," Haren said. "My fastball, especially, felt good at the end. That's the most important pitch for me. I usually throw everything off my fastball and I haven't had anything on my fastball, so they could look for everything else."

Haren (6-8, 4.86 ERA) entered the season as the Angels' No. 2 starter, but the three-time All-Star said back stiffness had been bothering him since spring training. This was Haren's first stint on the disabled list in 10 major league seasons.

"I hated it," Haren said. "Hated it."

No Angels starter other than Jered Weaver (and current Triple-A lefty Brad Mills) has recorded a win since Haren's last victory on June 28. Haren said he will pitch either Saturday or Sunday in Anaheim against the Rangers, who lead the AL West by 5½ games.

Mark Saxon

Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.