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08/13/11 6:34 PM ET

Mired in slump, Aybar given day to recover

TORONTO -- Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, who was in a 3-for-42 drought at the plate entering Saturday -- but was still playing superb defense -- was given a breather for during an 11-2 loss to the Blue Jays.

Andrew Romine, who was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Aug. 2, was given the start at shortstop.

Aybar's average has tumbled from .283 to .262 during his slide, which has spanned all of August. A switch-hitter, he began the day hitting .286 against right-handed pitchers and .206 against left-handers. The Blue Jays started left-hander Ricky Romero on Saturday and are scheduled to deploy left-hander Brett Cecil on Sunday.

Aybar entered the weekend with seven home runs this season after hitting five in each of the past two seasons. His two most recent homers were on July 8 and 16.

"Sometimes, when a little guy hits a home run, sometimes they start to get a little long with things," manager Mike Scioscia said before Saturday's game. "Right after he hit the home run, we talked to him and said, 'Stay short and let the home run be a mistake.' He's hit a couple of balls hard during his streak recently.

"It could be that his swing's a little long, it could be a little bit of fatigue. We're giving him the day today just to kind of catch his breath. Through it all, he's running well and he's playing Gold Glove defense. So this streak is probably a little long for the type of hitter that he is."

Like Wells, Downs has strong ties to Toronto

TORONTO -- Angels left-hander Scott Downs was a teammate of Vernon Wells with the Blue Jays, and now they are teammates with the Angels.

Downs feels it was fitting that Wells received a standing ovation when he came to bat for the first time in the Angels' 5-1 win over the Blue Jays on Friday.

"I thought it was well-deserved," Downs said before Saturday's game against the Blue Jays. "He's done a lot for [the Blue Jays]. He didn't leave on bad terms."

Downs pitched for the Blue Jays for six seasons and was signed as a free agent by the Angels during the offseason after going 5-5 with a 2.64 earned-run average in 67 games last year in Toronto. He entered the weekend with a 6-2 record and a 1.40 ERA in 43 games for the Angels.

Like Wells, Downs is enjoying being in the thick of the American League West race with the Angels.

"That's what you play this game for, to get a chance to make it to the postseason," he said. "We've got a shot. It's fun when every game counts. Wins and losses matter right now."

Larry Millson is a contributor to MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.