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Aybar serving as a run-producer for Angels

Aybar serving as a run-producer for Angels

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Aybar serving as a run-producer for Angels

NEW YORK -- Erick Aybar sure doesn't look the part of a run-producer, at 5-foot-10, with a crouched stance, an innate ability to spray the ball to the opposite field and a career slugging percentage of only .386.

On a short-handed Angels lineup, though, that's basically what he is.

"Whether I'm hitting first, second, seventh, eighth, ninth, I try to do my job," Aybar said. "I don't put it in my head that I'm hitting fifth or anything like that. I forget that when I get to the plate. I just want to do the job."

With Albert Pujols and Howie Kendrick out, Aybar has hit either fifth, sixth or seventh in every game this month, leaving the likes of J.B. Shuck, Kole Calhoun and Collin Cowgill to make up the top two spots in the lineup leading into Mike Trout.

Aybar was hitting .325 in 11 games this month entering Tuesday, putting his slash line at .283/.319/.381 for the season. He doesn't provide much power, but he's also a free swinger -- drawing only 18 walks in 397 plate appearances -- who can benefit from hitting in a spot where aggression is required.

"When you're hitting [in an RBI spot], you have to look for your pitch because you know they're not going to give you as much to hit," said Aybar, who entered Tuesday hitting .293 with runners in scoring position. "You have to be aggressive. When I'm hitting fifth, I look for my pitch and I'm aggressive."

Aybar came out of Tuesday's game against the Yankees after two and a half innings with a cramp in his left calf.

Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Gonzo and "The Show", and follow him on Twitter @Alden_Gonzalez. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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