ARLINGTON -- Appearing as a pinch-hitter in the eighth inning of Thursday's 3-2 loss at Rangers Ballpark, Angels shortstop Erick Aybar had an at-bat he'd like to forget against Darren O'Day, the Rangers' sidearmer who once pitched for the Angels.
Taking a swing at a pitch moving in on him, Aybar foul-tipped the ball off a part of his anatomy around the midsection that left him in obvious pain. Gathering his breath, and his senses, Aybar continued the at-bat, ultimately flying out to left field.
Reaching the dugout, he was met by hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, who had a few words through a knowing smile.
"Man, you hate it when something like that happens," said right fielder Torii Hunter. "It's a tough game, man. Sometimes it's really tough."
Aybar recently returned to active duty after undergoing an MRI that revealed a suspected sports hernia. No surgery was required. In June, Aybar damaged his left meniscus in a collision at second base.
"I haven't had much luck this season," he said.