Aybar exits after being hit by pitch

Aybar exits after being hit by pitch

ST. PETERSBURG -- Erick Aybar was hit in the left hand by a pitch in the top of the fourth inning of Friday's game and was later diagnosed with a bone contusion after initial X-rays came back negative.

"There's nothing broken or dislocated, so the best case would be day-to-day," manager Mike Scioscia said. "We will evaluate him over the next day or two, see what he can do."

The switch-hitter was squared up to bunt when he was struck on the side of his hand by Rays starter James Shields.

Aybar was in visible pain, grabbing the hand and dropping to the ground before the club's training staff came onto the field. He immediately exited and was examined by team doctor Koco Eaton.

After the game, the shortstop said the hand hurt a little bit but that the swelling was minimal. He reiterated Scioscia's belief that Saturday's examinations would be more conclusive.

With the negative X-ray, the Angels may have caught a well-deserved break on the injury front. Notable lineup absences currently include ace pitchers John Lackey and Kelvim Escobar, and infielders Chone Figgins and Howie Kendrick.

The club has been hesitant to put Figgins on the disabled list, and Scioscia said that Aybar's status would not alter the decision. As of Friday night, both Aybar and Figgins (strained right hamstring) are day-to-day, though the club could put one of them on the DL in favor of a player from Triple-A Salt Lake.

A defensive anchor for the Angels, Aybar is batting .299 in 32 games, with 13 RBIs. He flied out to center field in his first at-bat on Friday.

Aybar was replaced at short by third baseman Brandon Wood in the bottom of the fourth inning. Robb Quinlan took over at the hot corner.

Brittany Ghiroli is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.