07/06/11 4:06 PM ET
Aybar's run production amplifying solid season
By Jordan Garretson / MLB.com
The 5-foot-10 speedster has also done something a little unconventional this season -- drive in runs. Aybar's 37 RBIs entering Wednesday rank fourth in the American League among shortstops and second-most on the Angels, behind only Torii Hunter (40).
Perhaps more impressive, Aybar's .339 batting average with runners in scoring position is significantly higher than his overall average (.281).
Aybar's latest run-producing contribution came Tuesday, when his second-inning double brought Howard Kendrick around from first base for the lone run in the Angels' 1-0 win over Detroit.
Aybar's performance is particularly welcome by the Halos considering he struggled at times during 2010. He hit only .253 last year after tallying a .312 average in 2009. The Bani, Dominican Republic, native has also flashed a bit more power this season -- his five home runs already match his totals from each of the last two seasons.
"I think it's a product of just swinging the bat better," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. " ... He's on pace for 70, 80 RBIs, which would be a terrific year for a shortstop ... I don't think it's anything different, other than he's swinging the bat better, so when he's in those situations he's been more productive."
In addition to those numbers, Aybar has put together solid shortstop numbers -- his 17 stolen bases before Wednesday are a team high, and his .985 fielding percentage ranks fourth among AL shortstops.
Nicked up Wells moves to DH Wednesday
ANAHEIM -- Vernon Wells was slotted as the Angels' designated hitter for Wednesday's series finale with Detroit after emerging from Tuesday's game a little banged up.
The left fielder tweaked his ankle, and his right heel was "a little bruised" after a play at first base in the fourth inning, manager Mike Scioscia said. Wells' ground ball led to a high throw from Tigers third baseman Don Kelly, which led to Wells stepping on the bag awkwardly while trying to stay out of the ball's path.
Scioscia doesn't believe the ailment is anything too serious. Bobby Abreu was inserted in Wells' place in left on Wednesday.
"[Wells] said he could definitely DH, and if he had to, he could play the outfield," Scioscia said. "But we're just going to keep him at DH [for now]."
The Halos should be relieved that Wells didn't end up worse off -- the three-time Gold Glover has been on a tear after an abysmal start to his first season in Anaheim.
Wells hit .183 with four home runs and 13 RBIs in his first 35 games before missing 26 contests with a strain in his right groin. In his last 20 games entering play on Wednesday, the Shreveport, La., product belted eight home runs with 17 RBIs, including five blasts over the last 10 contests.
Wells, the Angels' marquee offseason acquisition, had recorded hits in eight of his last 11 games prior to Wednesday. Los Angeles is 19-6 with Wells batting cleanup.
Scioscia believes ejections come in cycles
ANAHEIM -- Ejections of players and managers alike have seemingly become more abundant recently, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia is indifferent on the matter.
Most notably, Texas manager Ron Washington was quite outspoken on his confrontation with umpire Angel Hernandez. Washington and Rangers first-base coach Gary Pettis were both ejected by Hernandez during Sunday's game between Texas and Toronto.
Washington had choice words for Hernandez afterward, according to multiple reports, saying, "Angel is bad, that's all there is to it." Despite a probable fine in Washington's future, the skipper stood by his comments the next day.
There were no shortage of tossings in Tuesday's game between the Tigers and Angels, which incidentally also featured Hernandez as its third-base umpire. Three players -- the Angels' Bobby Abreu, and the Tigers' Justin Verlander and Rick Porcello -- along with Detroit manager Jim Leyland, were tossed before the Halos claimed a 1-0 win. Leyland was also ejected in a game against Toronto just eight days earlier.
"I think it's cyclical," Scioscia said. "I don't know if we've seen more or less of it, as far as what we've [as a team] experienced. ... You have two teams competing, and if an umpire misses a call somebody's going to contest it, or if somebody thinks they missed a call, they're going to contest it.
"There's going to be arguments. Sometimes guys are going to get ejected."
Abreu was the first to get his marching orders, as he was sent off in the first inning by home-plate umpire Angel Campos after he inquired about a called third strike.
"I thought that was a little quick, to be honest with you," Scioscia said. "Angel explained that he let Bobby have his say. He thought that Bobby was going to walk away and he didn't, and enough was enough."
Dan Haren's performance on Tuesday marked only the third time in franchise history a pitcher recorded a shutout while allowing two or fewer hits with no walks and at least nine strikeouts.
Mike Witt also did it during his no-hitter for the Angels in 1984, and John Lackey did so with a one-hitter in 2006. Tuesday's effort was the fourth complete-game shutout of Haren's career.
The Halos enter Wednesday's contest having allowed one run or fewer in each of their last four games. Sept. 24-29, 1972, marked the last time they accomplished that feat in five straight games.
Jordan Garretson is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.