SAN DIEGO -- The Erick Aybar the Angels thought they signed to a four-year extension finally showed up in the three-game series against the Padres, a stretch that saw the switch-hitting shortstop compile eight hits in 15 at-bats. On Saturday, Aybar went 4-for-4 with an RBI triple, a double, a single and a clutch performance in the ninth inning -- one that included a swinging-bunt infield single, a stolen base and an advance to third on an errant throw before being left stranded. "Hopefully he'll help us a lot when he starts to play catchup," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said, "because he's not a .190 hitter."
In one night, Aybar's batting average went from .197 to .221, with three of the switch-hitter's hits coming from the right side of the plate -- the side he struggled at mightily last year. This season, it's the left side Aybar has been working on, trying to remove some of the clutter in his stride and be smoother attacking the ball. "He's much quieter, a little less movement," Scioscia said, "and I think he's feeling a little better about that part."