Haren Is Hitting Better Than He Is Pitching

Haren Is Hitting Better Than He Is Pitching

Dan Haren is frustrated with his recent pitching struggles that have led to a 5.35 ERA so far this season. He is leading all pitchers in baseball with 13 hits and a .406 average, however.

Dan Haren had another hit Thursday, this time singling to right field when manager A.J. Hinch let him swing away rather than bunt with a runner on first base and one out in the fifth inning in a game the D-backs trailed, 3-0.

He has a major league-high 13 hits among pitchers and is hitting .406. The D-backs are used to seeing Haren's ERA just exceed his batting average ... but not like this.

Haren, who started the All-Star Game for Oakland in 2007 and made All-Star appearances for the D-backs in 2008 and '09, has a 5.35 ERA after giving up four home runs to Colorado in an 8-2 loss on Thursday, the second consecutive game in which Haren has given up four home runs. As a byproduct of location issues with his fastball, Haren leads the majors with 16 home runs allowed. He gave up homers to the last three batters he faced before leaving in the seventh inning Thursday.

"I'm frustrated," Haren said. "I've never had to deal with anything like this in my career. I caught too much plate in the seventh, and good hitters are going to make you pay. I had trouble keeping the ball in the yard."

Because he is around the plate, Haren gives up his share of home runs -- 26, 31, 24, 19 and 27 in the five seasons he has been a full-time starter in the majors. But his ERA peaked at 4.12 in Oakland in 2006, and has come in at 3.07 in 2007, 3.33 in 2008 and 3.14 in 2009.

Haren hit .211 with six RBI in his return to the National League 2008 and improved that to .247 with his first major league homer and 10 RBI last year.

ROCKIES 8, DIAMONDBACKS 2: The D-backs began their nine-game road trip through the NL West with a thud, losing their third straight in Colorado. They trailed in all 27 innings of the series. After winning four straight to open a homestand last week, the D-backs have lost four in a row. RHP Dan Haren (5-4, 5.35) gave up four home runs, one to each of the last three batters he faced in the seventh inning, and leads the majors with 16 homers allowed. SS Stephen Drew extended his hitting streak to seven games after going 2-for-3 with a walk, raising his batting average to .310.

SNAKE BYTES

--The Diamondbacks got off to a slow start on their nine-game NL West road trip to Colorado, San Francisco and Los Angeles by losing all three games in Colorado. They never led in 27 innings of 3-2, 7-3 and 8-2 losses. "It is a roller coaster that we need to get off of," said manager A.J. Hinch, whose team entered the series by winning four of its last five. The D-backs have won only three of their last 13 games against the Rockies and have won five of their last 15 at Coors Field. The Rockies won the 2009 season series, 11-7, after the D-backs won the 2008 series, 15-3. The D- backs open a three-game series in San Francisco on Friday.

-- Colorado OF Seth Smith hit a pinch-hit homer off Haren Thursday and has seven of his 27 career homers against the D-backs. Six of his 11 homers since September, 2009 have come against the D-backs.

--The D-backs staff leads the major leagues in home runs allowed at 82, and no other team is within 25. Four D-backs starters have given up at least 10 homers -- RHP Dan Haren (16 in 74 innings), RHP Ian Kennedy (11 in 63-1/3 innings), RHP Rodrigo Lopez (10 in 63 innings), and RHP Edwin Jackson (10 in 61-2/3 innings). RHP Juan Gutierrez has given up nine home runs in 18 innings, seven homers in his last 5-2/3 innings. Detroit holds the major league record for homers allowed in a season when it gave up 241 in 1996. Colorado holds the NL record, 239, set in 2001.

--SS Stephen Drew has a seven-game hitting streak after going 2-for-3 Thursday to raise his batting average to .310. Drew is hitting .321 in May, and is hitting .392 when the first pitch to him is a ball.

--CF Chris Young has hit safely in seven of his last eight games with nine RBI after singling in a run Thursday. Young has 37 RBI in 172 at-bats after getting 42 in 433 at-bats in 2009. He is hitting .291.

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