The Los Angeles Angels have had little trouble with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Dan Haren hasn't been as fortunate.
Haren looks to rebound from his worst performance of the season as he makes his Freeway Series debut for the Angels, who visit the Dodgers on Friday night.
The Angels (37-39) have won 18 of their last 26 meetings with the Dodgers (34-42). They took five of six last year, sweeping a three-game set at Chavez Ravine from June 11-13, 2010.
"It's always exciting when we play the Dodgers," Torii Hunter told the Angels' official website. "There's an electricity in the air with all the blue and red, fans getting into it. It's an exciting series and time for everybody."
Haren (6-5, 2.96 ERA), a native of nearby Monterey Park, Calif., has a 2.25 ERA in his last eight starts - all with Arizona - against the Dodgers, but only a 1-2 record to show for it due to 17 total runs of support.
The right-hander hasn't received much help recently from his current teammates, either, going 2-5 with a 3.73 ERA over his last 10 starts while receiving an average of 2.12 runs in support. He didn't need much help from the bats in his first five starts, when he went 4-0 with a 1.16 ERA.
Haren failed to help himself Saturday, turning in his shortest and worst start of the season by giving up six runs in four innings of a 6-1 loss to the New York Mets.
"Over the course of the year it's going to happen, even to the best of them," Haren said. "I never really got into a rhythm."
The Angels improved to 6-3 on their 12-game road trip following Wednesday's 6-5, 10-inning win at Florida. The victory was marred by an injury to Hunter, who bruised his left ribs by slamming into the right-field wall after making a running catch. X-rays were negative, and he is day to day.
Hunter is hitting .390 with five homers and 24 RBIs during a 22-game road hitting streak in interleague play - the longest such streak in the majors. A hit in his next interleague road game will make him the first to reach 23 in a row since Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees from 2005-07.
Hunter is 9 for 23 with three triples, two homers and 11 RBIs in six games at Chavez Ravine during his streak.
The Dodgers have dropped six of the first nine contests on their 12-game homestand, including a 7-5 loss to Detroit on Wednesday.
Regardless of any regional rivalry, first-year Dodgers manager Don Mattingly wants wins.
"It'd be nice to win some games within the Angel-Dodger thing, but we're not in any position where we can put more importance on one game than another," Mattingly said.
He'll hand the ball to rookie Rubby De La Rosa (3-1, 4.58), who is trying to regain momentum after being victimized by a big inning in a 7-0 loss to Houston on Saturday. The 22-year-old right-hander gave up all five of his runs in the fifth, exiting with two outs in the inning.
He was 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA in his first five appearances - two starts.
Dodgers first baseman James Loney is batting .450 in his last 10 games overall. He is 9 for 25 with four doubles, one homer and eight RBIs in his last six home matchups with the Angels.
The Associated Press News Service
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