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Haren working on all cylinders in latest outing

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Dodgers starter Dan Haren stretched out Thursday with four scoreless innings against his former Angels teammates and he's readying for a trip to Australia, even if it turns out to be more a vacation than work.

Haren said he isn't sure what his role will be when the club opens the season against Arizona Down Under, but somebody will be the on-call starter-in-waiting and it's likely to be Haren. The way the Dodgers' rotation lines up, Clayton Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu are the likely two starters.

Nonetheless, Haren had the most impressive start of the spring for the Dodgers, mixing in curveballs for the first time, cutters to both sides of the plate and slowing down into his best rhythm so far.

"My innings are right where they need to be," he said. "I've still got to get my arm speed built up. A lot of times in spring you get that dead arm, sometimes you feel better in starts than other times. I usually feel better at the end of spring."

The game also provided some reassurance for Scott Van Slyke, whose grand slam off Dane De La Rosa was his first extra-base hit and first RBIs of the Spring.

Van Slyke came to camp with a bench job to lose, providing right-handed power with the capability to play the outfield and first base. Although Van Slyke's bat started off cool, Mattingly indicated nothing has changed for him.

"Spring is tough to judge and he didn't play winter ball," Mattingly said of Van Slyke. "His at-bats have been OK. He still has the combination of a righty that can play all three outfield spots and first base. He's hit some balls on the nose. I don't really worry about Scott."

Also in the game, Chris Anderson, last year's first-round pick, was charged with two runs while allowing one hit and two walks in 1 1/3 innings of relief.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for
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