(Sports Network) - In danger of falling out of the race for the American League West crown, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim made a big and bold move in acquiring ace pitcher Dan Haren on Sunday.
The Angels will waste no time in showing off their newest player, as Haren will start the opener of a three-game series with the Boston Red Sox tonight in Anaheim.
Shortly before Sunday's finale of a four-game finale with division-rival Texas, Los Angeles acquired Haren from Arizona for pitcher Joe Saunders and three prospects, one to be named later. Haren gives the Angels a solid 1-2 punch in the rotation along with Jered Weaver, and the move can be viewed as Los Angeles' counter of theRangers getting former Cy Young Award winner Cliff Lee.
With Arizona off on Monday, Haren was scheduled to start on Tuesday for his former club. However, he will take the hill tonight instead after going 7-8 with a 4.60 earned run average in 21 starts with the Diamondbacks this year.
Haren's last start with Arizona came versus the Mets on Wednesday, when he gave up three runs on six hits over six innings of a no-decision. The 29-year- old, who grew up in California, went winless in his final four decisions with Arizona and hasn't won since June 12.
The right-hander is 2-4 with a 3.14 ERA in seven career starts versus Boston. He lost to the Red Sox on June 17, yielding six runs (four earned) over 5 2/3 innings of work and is familiar with the rest of the American League as well, having gone 43-34 with a 3.64 ERA with Oakland from 2005-07.
Weaver will pitch on Tuesday and Joel Pineiro, tonight's regularly scheduled starter, will now hurl Wednesday's finale.
After acquiring Haren, the Angels dropped a 6-4 decision on the field and lost three of four to the first-place Rangers to fall seven games back of first place. Los Angeles has also lost five of its last seven overall.
"They did what they had to do," Angels outfielder Torii Hunter said of Texas. "We came to their house and they held it down."
Hunter and Hideki Matsui each homered in the loss, while Trevor Bell gave up four runs over just 3 1/3 innings in his first start of the season.
Boston will send out a 10-game winner in Clay Buchholz, who makes his second start since returning from a strained left hamstring suffered on June 26.
The right-hander won seven of eight starts before his injury, but was dealt a loss in his return on Wednesday after getting hammered for five runs on six hits and three walks over just four innings of work versus Oakland. Buchholz fell to 10-5 with a 2.81 ERA on the season.
Buchholz, who is 5-2 with a 2.53 ERA in eight road starts this year, recorded a win over the Angels on May 3 despite yielding four runs and eight hits over 5 2/3 innings. He got plenty of support in a 17-8 win and is 2-2 with a 6.35 ERA in his career versus Los Angeles.
While the Angels were able to acquire Haren prior to this Saturday's non- waiver trade deadline, the Red Sox are set to get back their prize pickup before last year's deadline, catcher Victor Martinez.
Martinez has been out since suffering a fractured left thumb on June 27 and is hitting .289 with nine homers and 38 RBI in 66 games.
"I actually think he's probably going to be ready," Red Sox manager Terry Francona told his team's website before Sunday's game versus Seattle. "It seems kind of silly to make the decision [Sunday]. He's going to catch some more guys and if he comes in and says, 'Hey, I'm hurting,' we're not going to do it. I think all things point to him being ready to go."
The Red Sox could use Martinez, given that they have scored just five runs in their last three games. They dropped a 4-2 decision to Seattle on Sunday, their fourth loss in six games.
Kevin Youkilis and Adrian Beltre each knocked in a run for the Red Sox, who won the first two tests of the four-game set before dropping the last two. Boston is now 3-4 on a 10-game road trip and eight games back of first-place New York in the AL East. It also trails Tampa Bay by five games for the Wild Card spot.
The Red Sox swept a four-game home set over the Angels from May 3-6, but have lost seven of their last nine at Anaheim.