OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - Dan Haren is still looking for a win against his former team this season. His margin for error has been so slight that one mistake again made all the difference.
Josh Willingham's two-run homer in the third inning helped the Oakland Athletics beat Haren and the Los Angeles Angels 5-3 on Friday night.
Haren (10-6) had his four-game winning streak snapped as he allowed four runs on 10 hits, matching his season high, in 6 1-3 innings. He didn't walk anybody and struck out two. He's only allowed more runs on two occasions.
``I felt out of whack all night,' Haren said. ``I didn't have my best stuff and I dug us too deep of a hole there.'
While the A's cashed in on all five chances with runners in scoring position, the Angels converted just two of their 12 opportunities.
``The most frustrating thing was how many chances we had with runners in scoring position,' Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. ``We had chances to score with an out and we couldn't do it. We struck out 10 times. You're going to pay a price for that and we did.'
The Angels had chances to break the game open in the fifth and sixth, when they scored all their runs. After Erick Aybar doubled home a run in the fifth, Howie Kendrick and Torii Hunter each struck out with runners on second and third.
Pinch-hitter Maicer Izturis walked to force in a run and Mike Trout got his first major league RBI with a single, but Aybar hit into a double play.
``We were one hit away from busting it open,' Haren said. ``I just put us in too deep a hole.'
Brandon McCarthy (2-5) pitched into the sixth inning and matched his season high of seven strikeouts for his first win since April 10.
Kurt Suzuki added two hits for Oakland, which has won six of the last eight games against the Angels.
Los Angeles, which went into the All-Star break on a 14-3 run, dropped 2 1/2 games behind first-place Texas in the AL West.
Haren had not lost to the A's in four career starts before this season but has dropped two straight against his former team. Oakland beat Haren on May 24.
Suzuki doubled leading off the third, moved up on a sacrifice and scored on Jemile Weeks' single up the middle against a drawn-in infield. Two batters later, Willingham hit a 2-0 pitch into the second deck in left field to give the A's a 3-0 lead.
Oakland made it 4-0 on Conor Jackson's RBI single in the fourth but missed a chance for more when Jackson was thrown out at home trying to score on Suzuki's second hit of the game.
Earlier in the day, the Angels placed Peter Bourjos on the 15-day disabled list and plan to keep the speedy outfielder there until July 23 because of his lingering hamstring injury. Bourjos was injured while rounding second base on an eighth-inning RBI double against Seattle on July 7.
Scioscia was forced to juggle his lineup further when cleanup hitter Vernon Wells fell ill before the game and was scratched. Bobby Abreu, scheduled to be the designated hitter, replaced Wells in left field and Russell Branyan took over at DH.
Notes: The teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday, the first scheduled twinbill in the majors since 2003. ... Los Angeles called up OF-INF Alexi Amarista from Triple-A Salt Lake (PCL) to take Bourjos' spot on the roster. Amarista joined the Angels after making the trip from Tacoma earlier Friday. ... Angels RHP Fernando Rodney (upper back strain) will pitch at least one inning against San Jose in a rehab outing on Saturday. ... The A's sent struggling rookie 1B Chris Carter back to Triple-A Sacramento and called up INF Eric Sogard. Carter started nine of Oakland's 11 games before the All-Star break but was batting only .133 with no RBIs.
The Associated Press News Service
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