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Dan Haren loses again in opener with Cubs

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Haren continued his free fall on Friday night, getting battered around in the Dodgers' 8-2 loss to the Cubs in the series opener on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

The Dodgers didn't add any pitching before Thursday's non-waiver trade deadline, but it's becoming increasingly clear that Haren needs to be replaced in the starting rotation.

He allowed a tying home run in the second inning, a solo shot to right field by Luis Valbuena, the 20th home run allowed by Haren in his last 15 stars. The Cubs then tagged him for a double, two singles and a wild pitch for three runs to make it 4-1 in the third inning.

A hit by pitch and two singles loaded the bases against Haren with one out in the fifth and his night was done, the third time in his last four starts and fourth in his last seven that Haren failed to last five innings.

Tightrope artist Chris Perez allowed a pair of singles, one booming and one in the infield, and a sacrifice fly, bringing in all three inherited runners and closing the increasingly unreadable book on Haren.

"Danny, it was more of what we've seen lately. He couldn't really stop them early," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "It was kind of more of the same in the third. From there, it seemed like everything kind of went wrong."

53⅓ -Innings needed by Haren to reach 180 on the season, converting his $10 million club option for 2015 into a player option

Haren has lost five straight starts, allowing 27 runs in 23⅓ innings during that span. He is 4-8 with a 5.86 ERA in his last 15 starts, with those aforementioned 20 home runs allowed. He was exasperated with his performance after the game, talking to Alanna Rizzo on SportsNet LA.

"I'd do anything for this team," Haren said. "I'm frustrated and embarrassed. It's kind of been a broken record the last few times out."

To make matters worse for the Dodgers, first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, outfielder Yasiel Puig and pitcher Paul Maholm all left the game early with some sort of injury.

Gonzalez left the game after two innings, suffering a right knee contusion on a slide at home plate in the first inning. Puig left after six innings as a precaution down 8-2 with left hamstring soreness.

Maholm, the most likely candidate to replace Haren in the rotation if the Dodgers do decide to make a change, appeared to injure his right knee covering first base in the seventh inning. He remained on the ground for a few minutes but was able to walk off the field on his own power.

Up next

Hyun-jin Ryu starts the middle game of the series on Saturday night, on five days rest. Tsuyoshi Wada starts for Chicago.

Friday particulars

Home run: Luis Valbuena (9)

WP - Kyle Hendricks (2-1): 7 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs (1 earned), 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

LP - Dan Haren (8-9): 4⅓ IP, 8 hits, 7 runs (6 earned runs), 2 walks, 3 strikeouts