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LAA@OAK: Haren hurls six frames of one-run ball

The Angels are playing well lately, but time is running out on their chances to earn a spot in the postseason.

They extended their winning streak to five games with a 4-3 win over the Mariners on Wednesday night and have won seven of their last nine games. But, with the A's beating the Rangers, 9-3, on Wednesday, the Angels trail Oakland by two games in the American League Wild Card race with seven games left in the regular season.

"You have to keep playing," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "We're doing a lot of things better now. We're not controlling everything, but we can control how we play and that's what we need to do."

Dan Haren will take the mound for the Angels in Thursday's series finale against the Mariners. He is 4-1 with a 2.45 ERA in his last six starts and has picked up a win in each of his past two outings. Scioscia chose to have Haren pitch on normal rest and have Ervin Santana pitch on seven days' rest against the Rangers on Saturday.

"There's a lot of things we looked at," Scioscia said. "Dan's been throwing the ball well, especially against Seattle. And giving Ervin a little bit of a longer break right now also helps if we need him for the last series in some bullpen role, he'd be available."

The Mariners, who have lost three straight and seven of their last nine, will send Hisashi Iwakuma to the mound on Thursday to make his third start against the Angels this season since joining the Mariners rotation in July.

Iwakuma won both of his starts against the Angels this year, posting a 1.56 ERA while striking out 11 and walking two over 14 1/3 innings during those two outings. He tossed 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 2-1 win over the Angels on Sept. 2 in his last start against them.

"He's a veteran guy out there," Mariners manager Eric Wedge said of the 31-year-old rookie. "He pitches like an experienced starting pitcher. He executes pitches, understands different situations and what type of pitch he wants to throw depending on that. I think he does a good job recognizing swings, too."

Iwakuma has made 14 starts this season, going 6-4 with a 2.93 ERA in that role while posting a 4.75 ERA in 14 relief appearances. He improved to 7-5 on the year in his last outing, giving up three runs on eights over seven innings of a 6-3 victory over the Rangers on Friday.

"He had something on the end of his pitches," Wedge said. "Had a good fastball, some good splitties, good sliders."

Mariners: Allison named director of scouting
• Scouting veteran Tom Allison was named the Mariners' new director of professional scouting on Wednesday. That position had been vacant since since Carmen Fusco was dismissed in September 2010. Allison, 45, was an infielder and Minor League coach for the Mets, worked in the Brewers scouting department for seven years from 2000-06, served as the Diamondbacks' director of scouting from 2007-10 and was a scout for the Red Sox from 2011-12.

"We are excited about the addition of Tom Allison to our organization as Director of Pro Scouting," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement. "He brings a level of experience with his background as a crosschecker, scouting director, Minor League player and front-office executive. He is a well-rounded individual and his contributions will be an asset to the Seattle Mariners."

• Justin Smoak homered for the third time in his last two games on Wednesday, smacking a solo shot off C.J. Wilson in the fourth inning to break a 2-2 tie. In his last 11 games, Smoak is batting .450 with five home runs and nine RBIs, reaching base in 24 of 46 plate appearances during that span. He became the fourth player in Mariners history to hit a home run for both sides of the plate in Tuesday's 5-4 loss to the Angels.

"In Little League, high school, college, when I'd start to struggle, [my dad would] say keep both hands on the bat," Smoak said of his father who died of cancer last year. "Of course then I was like, 'Right, whatever,' but that's what I've gone back to, especially left-handed and it seems to be working out right now."

Angels: Isringhausen leaning toward making this year his last
• Jason Isringhausen, who turned 40 earlier this month, gives himself a 70 percent chance to retire at the end of this season, citing a desire to spend more time with his two daughters, who are 3 and 10 years old. The two-time All-Star and World Series champion has gone 3-2 with a 4.14 ERA in 50 appearances this season.

"When I'm not pitching, that makes me miss them more," Isringhausen said. "I want to be home and my role on the team is not definitive anymore, and I don't like that part. I want to have more fun, more pitching. But if I had pitched better down the stretch, I'd probably be pitching more now."

Worth noting
• Mike Trout is currently tied with Vladimir Guerrero for the most runs scored in a season in Angels history. He has scored 124 runs in 131 games this year.

• The Mariners went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position in Wednesday's game and have four hits in their last 58 at-bats with runners in scoring position going back to Sept. 17.

• Michael Saunders missed his second straight game on Wednesday after the birth of his daughter in Colorado but is expected to start on Thurdsay. Comments