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SEA@LAA: Iwakuma tosses six strong frames vs. Angels

The Angels needed a miracle. They needed not only a sweep of the Mariners, but the Rangers to sweep the A's as well. Despite taking care of business with a 8-4 win Monday night against Seattle ace Felix Hernandez, an A's victory proved to be the deciding blow.

The Angels will not be in the postseason this year.

However, the team still needs to close out the season with two more games vs. the Mariners at Safeco Field. On Tuesday, it will be right-hander Dan Haren (12-12, 4.32 ERA) pitching opposite of Hisashi Iwakuma (8-5, 3.32 ERA).

Attempting to put aside his emotions, Haren will look to finish the season strong. In his last seven starts he's looked much improve with a 4-2 record and 2.57 ERA, which comes after accumulating a 4.90 ERA until Aug. 16.

But given the stakes, Haren was abruptly removed from his most recent outing vs. Seattle on Thursday. He had thrown 80 pitches through 5 1/3 innings but was taken out having allowed two earned runs on six hits.

The Angels offense will have its hands full with Iwakuma. The 31-year-old rookie from Japan has had a major influence in Los Angeles' playoff hopes as he's 3-0 with a 1.54 ERA against the Angels this season.

This will mark his third starts vs. the Halos in September. In the previous two contests, he gave up one earned run in 13 1/3 innings.

"I figured out who they are and I know how to pitch against them," Iwakuma said through interpreter Daisuke Sekiba. "I'm very comfortable against them."

Angels: Aybar questionable for final two contests
• Shortstop Erick Aybar exited the second game of Sunday's doubleheader with right quad tightness. His status for the rest of the regular season is unknown, although he hopes to play.

"Let's see what happens," Aybar said before Monday's game. "I can't tell you yes or no. ... It still hurts. It's still tight."

Aybar not only provides Gold Glove defense at short but is batting .347 since the start of August -- the second-highest average in the AL.

• With two more runs Monday night, outfielder Mike Trout made it 129 scored for the season. He is three shy of matching Joe DiMaggio's rookie record of 132 back in 1936.

• Right fielder Torii Hunter left Monday's game feeling light-headed but said he felt better after the game and was probably dehydrated.

Mariners: Gutierrez sidelined, manager hopes he returns
• Center fielder Franklin Gutierrez was out of Monday's lineup with soreness in his left groin muscle and manager Eric Wedge called him "day to day." Even with only two games left, Wedge would like to see the former Gold Glover back out on the field if possible.

"I'm a big believer you have to fight to stay on the field," Wedge said. "If he has a chance to play another game, we're going to get him in there."

Worth noting
• Haren is 12-7 with a 2.59 ERA in his 23 career starts vs. Seattle. He has logged 152 1/3 innings against the Mariners -- his most against any team.

• There are a number of Mariners with significant at-bats vs. Haren. Chone Figgins has the most experience and is 10-for-35 (.286) vs. the right-hander. Gutierrez is 5-for-24 (.208), Brendan Ryan is 10-for-32 (.313) and John Jaso is 5-for-17 (.294) with three home runs.

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