Following C.J. Wilson's last start, a game in which the Angels finished a three-game sweep of the defending American League champion Tigers, it seemed as if the Halos were finally on the right path.
Instead, they've dropped three of their four games since, and Wilson will return to the mound Friday night against the Mariners with his club still in the midst of trying to snap out of its early-season funk.
Though he is yet to take a loss himself, Wilson will be looking to work through some issues of his own. The southpaw has turned in three quality starts in his four outings, but has walked at least three batters every time out.
In settling for a no-decision in Sunday's sweep-clinching victory against the Tigers, Wilson allowed three runs off five hits, but recorded as many walks (four) as he did strikeouts. Only one time in his four starts has Wilson notched more whiffs than walks.
"I was missing with my breaking ball a lot early," Wilson said. "It was breaking way too big, then I couldn't throw my curveball for a strike and my changeup was kind of a non-factor. I just had to go out there with [a] fastball, slider and cutter and compete."
While Wilson looks to start pounding the strike zone with some consistency on the field, Seattle's Friday starter, Aaron Harang, is just hoping to soon find a little consistency off it.
Harang, acquired from the Rockies in an April 11 trade, said the fact that he's still searching for a permanent residence in Seattle has started to take its toll. With his family still living in San Diego, Harang has been living out of a hotel while house-searching in Seattle.
"The guys have been awesome in here. They're really accepting," Harang said. "And once I find some place that's more permanent, living-wise, I'll be better. Right now it feels like I'm on a crazy long road trip."
That "road trip" hasn't been a good one so far for Harang, who is 0-2 with an unsightly 10.24 ERA through his first two starts with his new club. After allowing three runs over five innings in his Mariners debut, Harang was tagged for eight runs on eight hits, including three home runs, over 4 2/3 frames Sunday against the Rangers.
"My first start was OK, but I was just getting a feel for things. The other day down in Texas, I was just making too many mistakes. I wasn't sharp," Harang said. "I've been talking with [pitching coach] Carl [Willis] and [manager Eric] Wedge about it, and I'm trying to get back in the groove of things. It's something I'll work on and it's just a matter of getting the feel for getting back into games and limiting the mistakes."
Angels: Injured players slowly nearing returns
Reliever Sean Burnett said on Thursday the tightness in his left forearm that rendered him unavailable on Monday and Tuesday has completely subsided.
Burnett, who has a 1.13 ERA in 10 appearances this season, hasn't pitched in a game since Sunday, though he was ready if needed in Thursday's 6-0 loss.
"It was just tight for a couple days," Burnett said. "It's fine now. I changed medicine and it worked."
As for the banged-up left side of the infield, shortstop Erick Aybar -- out since April 9 due to a bruised left heel -- played five innings in an extended spring training game on Thursday, as scheduled, but will play at least one more game in Arizona before returning.
Third baseman Alberto Callaspo, sidelined since April 11 with a right calf strain, is running sprints and participating in pregame activities, but isn't expected to return until at least May 2.
Mariners: Slumping Morse still hampered by finger
Mariners outfielder Michael Morse admitted on Thursday he's still not fully recovered from the fractured right little finger that forced him to miss three games earlier this month.
Morse, who was given a night off Thursday, has gone homerless and is hitting just .162 (6-for-37) in nine games since returning from the broken finger. At the time of the injury, Morse was tied for the American League lead with six home runs.
"It's not an excuse or anything," Morse said. "I'm not producing because of me, not my finger. I don't look for excuses."
• Albert Pujols is a career .315 (23-for-73) hitter with five home runs, six doubles and 14 RBIs against Harang.
• Mariners catcher Kelly Shoppach is a blistering 5-for-10 [.500] with three homers and six RBIs in his career against Wilson.
• Seattle third baseman Kyle Seager has 10 doubles this month, tying him for third-most in franchise history in the month of April. The last time a Mariner recorded at least 10 doubles in April came in 2003 when John Olerud hit 11 in the season's opening month. He's riding a Major League-high 14-game hitting streak.