CLEVELAND (AP) - Dan Haren's rough season has grown rougher.
And now maybe only time away can help him.
Hit hard as soon as he took the mound, Haren didn't get past the fifth inning Tuesday night and the Los Angeles Angels were beaten 9-5 by the Indians, who hit for the cycle in the first four innings against the right-hander.
One of the majors' most durable pitchers since 2005, Haren appears to be breaking down. Following the game, he acknowledged a sore lower back has bothered him all season and it could be time to take break.
``I'm not helping the team right now going out there pitching the way I am,' said Haren (6-8), who gave up a leadoff triple in the first. ``We took a look earlier in the season and try to do therapies and exercises. I've never had to work so hard between starts, but that's what happens when you get older. At this point, I have to nail down what it is and do something.'
In his past five starts, Haren, who has never missed a start as a professional, has allowed 26 earned runs in 27 innings.
``I'd do anything for this team,' he said Haren. ``I'd go out and pitch with a broken arm if I could, but at some point you're hurting the team rather than helping it. I gotta feel better than I am right now.'
Cleveland's Zach McAllister lasted six innings, overcoming a throwing error and two home runs in the fifth, and Shelley Duncan homered as the Indians stayed within two game of first in the AL Central.
McAllister (3-1), who began the season pitching at Triple-A Columbus, allowed three earned runs and eight hits, and he and the Indians recovered after blowing a four-run lead.
``He's not afraid,' Indians manager Manny Acta said of McAllister. ``It was good to see a guy like that shake it off.'
Duncan homered in the fourth off an ineffective Haren, who couldn't hold a lead and whose record would be much worse if not for some run support.
Manager Mike Scioscia said it's imperative to get Haren fixed.
``It's getting to a point where we have to find out exactly what's going on in there,' Scioscia said. ``It's something he's learned to deal with. Tonight it definitely part of the equation. There's no doubt about that.
``He had trouble making pitches as the game went on. We've seen him start off a little slow at times, even last year, then pick his stuff up and pitch well. It looked like tonight might be one of those nights, but it was tough in the fifth inning.'
Jose Lopez had three hits and Michael Brantley two RBIs for the Indians.
Rookie Mike Trout hit a three-run homer, his 10th, and Albert Pujols hit his 13th - all since May 4 - off McAllister in the fifth for the Angels, who lost for just the fourth time in 13 games.
The Indians are 5-1 in games started by McAllister, who had to recover from a rare throwing error by third baseman Jack Hannahan in the fifth when the Angels scored five runs.
``It happens. It's part of the game and you have to deal with it,' McAllister said of Hannahan's miscue, which opened the door for LA's big inning. ``Hanny has made a lot of plays for me in the past and he's going to continue to make plays. Unfortunately that cost me a couple of runs, but we were able to score and I rebounded pretty well.'
Throwing errors by both teams low-lighted an eight-run fifth inning when the Angels scored five times to take the lead before giving it right back.
Cleveland, which led 4-0 after four, trailed 5-4 before scoring three in the fifth to chase Haren, who allowed six earned runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings and lost for the first time in six career starts at Progressive Field.
Shin-Soo Choo opened the fifth with a double and with one out the Angels intentionally walked Jason Kipnis to face Lopez, who singled in his previous at-bat.
The strategy backfired when Lopez doubled to score Choo and Los Angeles manager Mike Scioscia pulled Haren. Hisanori Takahashi came in and got Brantley to hit a grounder to Pujols, who stepped on first but threw wildly to the plate as Kipnis scored from third. The ball skipped away from catcher John Hester, who recovered it and made an accurate underhand toss to Takahashi covering, but the reliever dropped it as Lopez slid home to make it 7-5.
Kipnis was lying face down after sliding into the plate when he realized Lopez was trying to score.
``I heard the crowd,' Kipnis said. ``When I saw the catcher sprinting to get the ball, I peeked back and Lopez was almost halfway down the line so I had thought, `I better get out of the way right now.' He was coming in hot and I like the aggressiveness right there.'
Scioscia said Pujols did the right thing by throwing home.
``That's the only play Albert had and he almost pulled it off,' Scioscia said.
Notes: The game was delayed 1 hour, 41 minutes by two rain delays. Despite the loss, Los Angeles is 39-22 since April 28, when Trout, who didn't start Monday because of a jammed pinky, joined the club. ... Cleveland's nine runs were one shy of the season high at home. ... Indians DH Travis Hafner will be activated from the 15-day disabled list before Wednesday's series finale. He's been out since undergoing knee surgery on May 31. ... The Angels are 5-3 on their nine-game trip and 16-4 in their past 20 road games.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved