ARLINGTON -- Shortstop Erick Aybar will be back in the Angels' lineup on Wednesday night for their series finale against the Rangers, Angels manager Mike Scioscia said on Tuesday.
Aybar played on Monday night for Triple-A Salt Lake, going 1-for-4, and worked out with the Bees on Tuesday before catching a flight to Dallas.
Aybar strained his left oblique making a head-first slide into third base in the third game of the season at Kansas City. He was off to a blazing start with three doubles among his five hits in 12 at-bats (.417), having driven in two runs.
Maicer Izturis and Brandon Wood have handled shortstop duties in Aybar's absence. Izturis, the No. 2 hitter in the American League with a .391 average and league leader with 25 hits, now becomes a movable piece for Scisocia. He is capable of handling third, shortstop and second and also serving as designated hitter on occasion.
"We're going to have more lineup depth," Scioscia said. "Howie [Kendrick] can slide to first to give [Mark] Trumbo a breather. Izzy can DH. This is not a dilemma. It's something we need. We're looking forward to it."
Wells feeling like himself again
ARLINGTON -- Funny thing about slumps. They can drag on seemingly forever and then end in a heartbeat -- or an eyeblink.
Vernon Wells can identify the precise moment when he began to feel like himself again.
It came in his next-to-last at-bat on the Angels' opening homestand. With four hits in his first 47 at-bats, he was facing the Indians' Tony Sipp in the ninth inning of a game that would go to 12 innings.
"I took a 1-2 pitch for a ball, and it kind of triggered something in my mind," Wells said. "It had to do with my initial setup. I popped up the next pitch, but I felt the position I was in was what I was looking for. The timing and balance had been out of whack, missing. I was swinging through fastballs, thinking, `What in the world is going on?'
"Then I got the hit in the 12th [later scoring the winning run on Jeff Mathis' sacrifice fly]. We went to Chicago, and I was squaring balls up. I was being consistent with contact, putting myself in better position to hit.
"Unfortunately," the veteran outfielder said, grinning, "it took me 50 at-bats to get there."
Wells was 4-for-12 in Chicago, missing his first homer of the season by an inch or two on a drive to center that bounced off the yellow padding atop the wall and bounced back onto the field for a triple.
Back home now, the former Arlington Bowie High School football and baseball star had a pair of hits in four at-bats during a 7-1 loss to the Rangers on Monday night.
"Always nice to be home, in my own bed," Wells said.
In a Toronto uniform, Wells torched the Rangers last season, going deep eight times and driving in 16 runs in 10 games while batting .382. Those eight homers were the most by an opposing player in a season against Texas since Vladimir Guerrero of the Angels did it in 2004.
Trumbo's risky dive a success
ARLINGTON -- Mark Trumbo made an athletic and successful play at first base on Monday night against the Rangers, diving headlong, ball in his bare hand, to beat Mitch Moreland to first base by a half step leading off the first inning.
Trumbo felt the thick infield grass made the play more difficult on the slow roller.
"At home, I think I would have gotten to the ball quicker and been able to get to the bag normally," he said. "After the fact, I realized [the element of risk involved]. He missed my hand by a little bit.
"It was a reaction play. It's not something you work on. I can't flip it to anybody, and I didn't have time to transfer it to my glove and make the play."
Trumbo ideally would have gone in feet first, as if sliding into the bag.
"I couldn't do that -- it was too close," he said. "There wasn't a lot I could do there. I went for the corner of the bag, and that was a good thing. He was able to hit the bag and not my hand, so it all worked out."
Angels manager Mike Scioscia thought his rookie handled the play just right.
"He's got some cleats bearing down, but he hit the corner of the bag," Scioscia said. "From where he was tagging the bag, he looked OK."
Kendrick tops AL in total bases
ARLINGTON -- Angels second baseman Howard Kendrick expressed surprise on Tuesday when he learned he was the American League leader in total bases with 41, three more than Detroit's Miguel Cabrera. Maicer Izturis, hitting directly in front of Kendrick, is tied for sixth with 35.
"I don't really pay much attention to those things," Kendrick said. "I'm better off not thinking about numbers. Just go out and play, try to make good things happen. Hitting between Izzy and Bobby [Abreu] has been a lot of fun. Those two guys are smart veterans, they really know what they're doing."
The top third of the Angels' lineup has been like the top of the rotation -- top shelf. Abreu is tied for the league lead with 15 walks and seventh in on-base percentage at .425, while Kendrick is fourth in slugging (.621) and in a six-way tie for the league lead with five homers.
"He's been getting around on some balls and hitting more shots to left-center and left than before," Abreu said of Kendrick. "It's not that he's trying to pull the ball; it's just that he's so quick and strong that it's happening naturally.
"The good thing about that is they'll have to play him more straightaway in center now, and he can get some of those balls in the right-center gap to get through."
Angels' Kazmir picks up velocity
ARLINGTON -- Back in Arizona for extended Spring Training after a bout of lower back stiffness, Scott Kazmir threw about 45 pitches in three innings on Monday.
"All fastballs," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said of the report on his fifth starter. "His velocity picked up as he went on. He felt strong. We'll see when he gets back on the mound."
Joel Pineiro, the other Angels starter on the DL, is set to go three innings or 45 pitches in a camp game on Wednesday. Pineiro, recovering from soreness in the area of his right shoulder blade, will be using his full repertoire, Scioscia said.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.