Shift in stance has Aybar on a tear

Shift in stance has Aybar on a tear

NEW YORK -- Erick Aybar noticed a change in his stance as he struggled through the onset of the regular season, with a .175 batting average through his first 17 games.

The switch-hitting shortstop was crouched too low, particularly from the left side of the plate. So he showed up at Nationals Park early on Monday, worked on staying more upright during batting practice and suddenly took off. Heading into the second game of a three-game series at Yankee Stadium, Aybar has registered multiple hits in four straight games, compiling 11 of them in 17 at-bats to raise his batting average by 100 points.

On Friday he hit a three-run shot for his first home run since September of last season, and on Saturday he batted in the No. 5 spot for the second time in three games.

"I'm standing up a little bit more now," Aybar said. "I was crouched down too much, chasing pitches and not able to hit with much power when I do make contact. I've always been more upright, and I just got back to doing that. Hopefully, I can keep this going."

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.