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Angels' Erick Aybar undergoes MRI; Rays bench Manny Ramirez

April 6, 2011 |  8:59 am

Photo: Erick Aybar. Credit: Charlie Riedel / AP Brandon Wood is in the lineup for the first time Wednesday as the Angels close out their season-opening six-game road trip with an afternoon game with the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. But that wasn't entirely by design.

Wood is starting at shortstop because regular starter Erick Aybar spent much of Wednesday morning having an MRI taken of his strained left side. Aybar has felt stiffness in his side since bellyflopping into third base in the eighth inning of Saturday's loss in Kansas City. Results of the test were not available Wednesday morning and Aybar's availability for Friday's home opener is uncertain.

Maicer Izturis, who started in Aybar's place the last two games, remained in the leadoff spot as the team's designated hitter. Also, the slumping Vernon Wells (.136) is making his first start in center in place of Peter Bourjos.

On the Tampa side, Manny Ramirez is out of the lineup after striking out three times in four at-bats Tuesday. Ramirez, 1 for 16 (.063) on the season, will  also miss Tampa's first road game Thursday in Chicago to attend to an undisclosed personal matter.

The lineups:

DH -- Maicer Izturis

2B -- Howie Kendrick

LF -- Bobby Abreu

RF -- Torii Hunter

CF -- Vernon Wells

3B -- Alberto Callaspo

1B -- Mark Trumbo

C -- Jeff Mathis

SS -- Brandon Wood

P -- Dan Haren

Tampa Bay Rays

C -- John Jaso

DH -- Johnny Damon

2B -- Ben Zobrist

1B -- Dan Johnson

CF -- B.J. Upton

Rf -- Matt Joyce

3B -- Felipe Lopez

SS -- Reid Brignac

LF -- Sam Fuld

P -- Jeremy Hellickson

RELATED:

Tampa honeymoon could be ending for Manny Ramirez

Weaver, Angels survive another bullpen collapse in 5-3 win

-- Kevin Baxter in St. Petersburg, Fla.

Photo: Erick Aybar. Credit: Charlie Riedel / AP

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