Aybar injured after McGehee's slide

Updated: June 15, 2010, 2:50 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

ANAHEIM -- Already thinned by an injury to slugger Kendry Morales, the Los Angeles Angels' infield took another hit Monday night when shortstop Erick Aybar hyperextended his left knee on a force play at second base.

Aybar was in an awkward position, leaping for an errant throw from first baseman Kevin Frandsen, when Milwaukee Brewers third baseman Casey McGehee -- trying to break up a double play -- slid hard through the bag in the seventh inning. McGehee's momentum carried him into Aybar's leg, which buckled.

After the game, Aybar limped out of the Angels' clubhouse. He declined comment. Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Aybar will be examined Tuesday morning. He'll miss at least one game and could be out for an extended period of time, depending what doctors find.

"We'll get a further indication of what's going on, but we're relieved to seeing him walking around this clubhouse and, hopefully, it'll just be a little strain and he won't be out long," Scioscia said.

Aybar, 26, is one of the best-fielding shortstops in the league and was the Angels' hottest hitter this month. He was batting .382 in June. He struggled for the first two months making the transition to the leadoff spot.

The Brewers led 9-2 at the time and went on to win 12-2. McGehee was booed by the crowd of 39,289 as he left the field following the play, and got the same treatment when he came up in the ninth.

Scioscia and Angels center fielder Torii Hunter both classified McGehee's slide as a clean play.

"Sometimes, it's a lost art in the game," Hunter said. "The league's a little softer, but I like it. I like the way he's playing the game."

McGehee also said the play was clean.

"By no means was I trying to hurt anybody. I've got a clear conscience. There was no intent," McGehee said. "I just went in hard, trying to break up a double play. Unfortunately, he was in an awkward position. Hopefully, he sees the video and sees that I wasn't going out of my way trying to do anything malicious.

"You never want to see anybody get hurt in this game, but it does happen," McGehee added. "They're known for playing hard-nosed, aggressive baseball, so hopefully they understand where I'm coming from. I play the game right."

Morales broke his left ankle while celebrating a game-winning grand slam just two home games ago, on May 29. The Angels were coming off one of the longest, most successful road trips in their history. They went 11-3 on the trip to Kansas City, Seattle, Oakland and Los Angeles.

Mark Saxon covers the Angels for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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