LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dan Haren pitched much better last season after the All-Star break than he did before it — and he's hoping the same scenario will play out this time around.
Less than two weeks after he beat Cleveland 1-0 with seven sharp innings — and allowed his only hit on an umpire's call that was reversed by a video replay challenge — Haren threw 102 pitches in four-plus innings Friday night and gave up four runs in a 6-3 loss to the San Diego Padres.
"I felt fine, but that doesn't really mean much. Regardless of how I felt the results were terrible," said the three-time All-Star, who surrendered eight runs over 5 1/3 innings last Saturday in a 7-1 loss at Colorado. "I'm just not getting it done for us. I'm searching right now.
"I went through a similar thing last year, but then the All-Star break came and I was able to kind of turn the page and string together some good ones.
The Dodgers' third loss in four games, coupled with San Francisco's 5-0 win over Arizona, dropped the defending NL West champions into a virtual tie with the Giants for the division lead.
Haren (8-6) struck out five in his third start against the Padres and second loss to them in three weeks. He came in 4-1 with a 2.96 ERA in his eight previous home starts this season.
"He's got less room for error than he has in the past," manager Don Mattingly said.
Matt Kemp opened the scoring in the Dodgers' first with an RBI single, but the Padres responded in the second with Alexi Amarista's two-run homer after Will Venable reached on a strikeout-wild pitch past Drew Butera. Amarista and Haren were teammates with the Angels in 2011 and 2012.
Haren has allowed 19 homers — tying the Padres' Eric Stults for second-most in the NL behind the 27 served up by Milwaukee's Marco Estrada.
"I would say I'm just about as frustrated as I was last year," Haren said. "Right now, I feel better than I did in April and May. My velocity has been up a little bit. Now I can strike guys out, but I've got to find a way to be more successful."
The Padres increased the margin to 4-1 with two runs in the fifth. Chase Headley, whose homer in Thursday's series opener ended Clayton Kershaw's string of 41 consecutive scoreless innings, drove in Seth Smith from first base with a double. Carlos Quentin followed with another double on Haren's final pitch for the first of his three RBIs.
Jesse Hahn (5-2) allowed a run and three hits, struck out six and walked four in his seventh major league start. The 24-year-old right-hander has a 1.46 ERA over his last six outings since Pittsburgh beat him 4-1 on June 3 in his big league debut at Petco Park.
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