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|Erick Aybar's patience at the plate paid off in the Angels' home opener.|
Scott Baker probably will have a hard time trusting his scouting reports after what happened in that first at-bat of the Angels' 6-3 win over the Minnesota Twins on Monday: a 10-pitch walk. "We were able to see all his pitches and get a feel for what his velocity was like, what his curveball was doing, what his slider was doing," Torii Hunter said. "Aybar looks good at the top of the lineup." There is, of course, the inevitable disclaimer, and Hunter had to drop it next: It's only one game. But Aybar couldn't have gotten off to a much better start calming some nerves around here. How the Angels would replace Chone Figgins as a catalyst has been a flashing neon worry around this team since December, when Figgins became a Seattle Mariner. In all, Aybar saw 24 pitches Monday night. Last year, that would have been a week's worth for him. A hitter doesn't change overnight, and Aybar has always been a free-swinger, but he is showing signs of gradually reshaping his game to fit the job. He got on base three times and scored twice Monday night. "Erick is, obviously, trying to bring a piece of the puzzle to fill some of the void Chone did so well for us last year," manager Mike Scioscia said. "He's off to a great start, he had a great spring and hopefully he'll bring that part game-to-game."
With the bases loaded, Weaver's first pitch to Delmon Young bounced in the dirt a foot outside. Mathis slid his feet and blocked it, something Mike Napoli probably wouldn't have been able to do.