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Aybar plans to start series finale

ANAHEIM -- Before the Angels' game Saturday, a 4-2 win over the Mariners, manager Mike Scioscia said he didn't want to have to use Erick Aybar, who was held out the starting lineup as a precaution after the shortstop left Friday's game with left hamstring tightness. But in a close game in the seventh inning, Scioscia called on Aybar to pinch-hit for Matt Joyce with the bases loaded.

"If you have your druthers," Scioscia had said before the game, "we'll win the game and he gets a day off."

He didn't have his druthers, but everything seemed fine with Aybar, who popped into an infield flyout in his only at-bat as the designated hitter.

Aybar was not in the clubhouse after the game, but he said before the game that he expected to start Sunday's series finale.

"That's the plan," Aybar said. "We'll see tomorrow. … Just a little sore, but today I feel better."

Aybar and Scioscia said this hamstring injury is not in the same spot as the one Aybar sustained in late May. Both happened while Aybar was trying to beat out a bunt to first base.

"It's not quite in the same spot, but hamstrings, they just have a mind of their own, and you have to really pay attention to them," Scioscia said. "Erick's very durable, but there's a limit, and you want to make sure he stays above that line where you're out there at risk of losing some appreciable time playing."

Worth noting:

• Scioscia said right-hander Jered Weaver, on the 15-day disabled list with right hip inflammation, felt good Saturday after throwing Friday but still has some ways to go.

"He's just trying to get his arm right, get back to where he can get out there and throw some 'pens," Scioscia said. "Everything's calmed down in the hip, everything feels good, so hopefully we're ready to take the next step forward, and we'll see what it is."

• Angels left fielder Daniel Robertson hit in the leadoff spot for the first time this season on Saturday. Scioscia said that was a combination of Robertson having good at-bats against left-handers like Seattle starter J.A. Happ, Aybar being out of the lineup and wanting to get Johnny Giavotella further down in the order to give him chances to come up with men on base.

Robertson went 1-for-4 with a single in the first inning that preceded a Kole Calhoun two-run homer. Giavotella came up with the bases loaded in the seventh inning and came through with an RBI single that gave the Angels a 3-1 lead.

David Adler is an associate reporter for Follow him on Twitter @_dadler.
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