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It's a grind: Aybar gets a day off in wake of 'mental mistake'

August 25, 2010 | 12:28 pm

Shortstop Erick Aybar was not in the Angels' lineup for Wednesday's game against the Tampa Bay Rays, in part because he lost track of the number of outs in the second inning Tuesday night, a mistake that probably cost the Angels a run in a 10-3 loss.

"Anytime a player loses track of a situation, there could be a variety of causes, and lack of focus is usually the one," Angels's Manager Mike Scioscia said, adding that he spoke to Aybar about the mistake. "I think it's obvious when something like that happens; it's a mental mistake, and you have to get to the root of what the issue is. Maybe a guy needs a day off because he's been grinding it, or maybe it's just something that happened and you turn the page."

Which was it in this case?

"He has been playing a lot, and you have to remember his knee is not 100% from the issue earlier in the year," Scioscia said. "He works hard to get physically ready every day, and at times you do need a breather."

Brandon Wood will get the start at shortstop, his eighth of the year at that position. Wood, who is batting .163, was the team's starting third baseman for the first 3 1/2 months of the season but has played sparingly since losing his job in mid-July.

Reggie Willits will also start in center field instead of Peter Bourjos, as the Angels, who entered the day 10 games behind Texas in the American League West, look to snap a three-game losing streak.

-- Mike DiGiovanna

Photo: Erick Aybar throws to first in the fourth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday. Credit: Gary A. Vasquez / US Presswire