Aybar was 4-for-4 with two doubles, two home runs, four RBI and five runs scored as the Angels routed the Orioles, 11-2. It was the first multi-homer game of Aybar's career and gave him 10 home runs this season (double his previous best). The hits, runs scored and RBI all set or matched career bests for a single game and the five runs scored matched the Angels' club record set by Tim Salmon in 1998.
Aybar's big day sparked an important win for the Angels, who had been outscored 14-5 while losing the previous two games in Baltimore, dropping them 4-1/2 games out in the AL West.
"Everybody felt the necessity, not just me," Aybar said through an interpreter. "We lost a couple games in a row. This was a game we needed to win."
After batting .312 in 2009 (the highest average in franchise history for a shortstop), Aybar regressed offensively (.253) and defensively (a career-high 21 errors) while playing with an assortment of injuries in 2010. But he has rebounded this year, setting career highs in home runs and RBI (59) while displaying a split personality at the plate. The switch-hitter has not only hit .313 from the left side this season and .211 from the right, but he has also ridden a bit of a roller coaster over the course of the season --- batting .190 in August and .433 so far in September, for example.
"(The) '09 season was a reflection of his potential," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "Maybe you're not going to have a career year every year. But this year, his numbers might be around those of '09 if he was hitting better from the right side.
"It (his production) is not surprising us. He's been in there every day, playing terrific shortstop and giving us a lot of production from the left side."