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Dan Haren sharp, continuing to prepare for unknown

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Haren doubled the inning total of his previous start with his four frames on Thursday in Tempe.

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

TEMPE -- Dan Haren was solid in his second start of the spring, pitching four scoreless innings as the Dodgers and Angels played to a 4-4 tie in 10 innings at Tempe Diablo Stadium.

Haren allowed just three hits in four innings, with three strikeouts. He doubled the length of his last outing, needing just 51 pitches to do so.

"He was very good. I thought he was sharp today," said manager Don Mattingly. "It was good to see him get stretched out a bit, and to see our guys getting their pitch counts built up."

"It was nice to get past that threshold. There was a big difference between last time and today, going two then four innings," Haren said. "Going out for the fourth, it took a little while to get loose. But you have to push it in spring to get ready."

Haren said he threw all his pitches, including three curve balls on Thursday, and specifically was working on his cutter, throwing it on both sides of the plate for strikes. With potentially two Cactus League starts left, Haren is progressing nicely this spring.

"I feel like innings-wise, I'm right where I want to be, if not ahead. I still have some arm speed to build up, I think. It comes and goes," Haren said. "The velocity usually comes more toward the end of spring, for me. It's just about getting up and down, getting innings, trying to build up in case of Australia."

Ah, Australia. The topic that won't go away, at least until the Dodgers officially announce their two starters for the opening games against the Diamondbacks in Sydney. The two pitchers are lining up to be Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-jin Ryu, but even so Haren must plan to be ready to pitch just in case, even if odds are he won't pitch at all down under.

"Chances are, I'll probably be on vacation. Maybe I'll see some sights. I'm excited, just not for the flight," Haren said. "Maybe I'll try to sleep on the plane. I'll load up the iPad with as much content as I can."

Maybe Haren can load video of today's start.

Funny moment

Scott Van Slyke homered in the sixth inning, the second grand slam in as many days for the Dodgers. A little bit later, as Van Slyke was walking into the clubhouse a fan shouted "Way to go, Andy," confusing him with his dad. "I'm Scott," Van Slyke politely replied.

Notes

  • Hanley Ramirez was hit by a pitch from Dane De La Rosa in the left triceps in the sixth inning, but it was not considered serious. Ramirez said he plans to ice his arm and take something tonight for the inflammation, but plans to play tomorrow. "I thought it got him on the meat," Mattingly said.
  • From the ridiculous and unfounded "down with Riverside" conspiracy department, De La Rosa went to Riverside Community College. Cardinals starter Joe Kelly, who broke two of Ramirez's ribs with a hit by pitch in Game 1 of the NLCS, went to UC Riverside.
  • Zack Greinke felt good after his bullpen session on Thursday morning, and assuming his calf feels fine over the next few days, will face live hitters on either Saturday or Sunday at Camelback Ranch.

Up next

After two days of playing road games, the Dodgers return home to Camelback Ranch to face the Rangers. Zach Lee gets the start for the Dodgers on Friday, against Martin Perez for Texas.

Thursday particulars

Home runs: Scott Van Slyke (1), C.J. Cron (1)