Aybar opening eyes with hot streak

Aybar opening eyes with hot streak

TORONTO -- While Angels shortstop Erick Aybar drew headlines with his huge game Sunday in Baltimore, pounding two homers and two doubles while scoring five runs and driving in four, it wasn't out of the blue.

Aybar has been hot for a while. He has reached base in 30 consecutive games, the longest current streak in the American League. Only the Cardinals' Albert Pujols, with a 34-game streak, and the Cubs' Starlin Castro (31 games) have exceeded Aybar's level of consistency.

Aybar, co-AL Player of the Week with Detroit's Justin Verlander, is batting .434 in 53 at-bats this month. Rebounding from an injury-plagued 2010, Aybar has established career highs in homers (10), doubles (31) and steals (28). His 49 extra-base hits are third among AL shortstops.

In spite of his hot streak, Aybar -- hitting .211 against lefties compared to .313 against right-handers -- was placed eighth in the lineup Monday night against Jays southpaw Rickey Romero.