Angels' Erick Aybar leaves game with hamstring injury

Angels shortstop and leadoff hitter Erick Aybar injures his left hamstring while running after he bunted

Erick Aybar, the Angels' shortstop and leadoff batter, left Thursday's game against the Detroit Tigers because of what the Angels called tightness in his left hamstring.

Aybar injured his hamstring in the fifth inning. He dropped a squeeze bunt, then felt the injury and slowed as he ran to first base.

Aybar, who has started every game at shortstop this season, might be the player the Angels can ill afford to lose for an extended period -- Mike Trout excepted, of course. The Angels need to marshal whatever resources they can toward a trade for a big bat, not deplete them because they need to trade for a shortstop as well.

The Angels replaced Aybar on Thursday with Rule 5 pick Taylor Featherston, who would not be a long-term solution.

Their triple-A shortstops are Josh Rutledge, 26, who started 58 games for the Colorado Rockies last year in place of injured Troy Tulowitzki, and Ryan Jackson, 27, who has started one major league game at shortstop.

Aybar, 31, is batting .273 overall and .314 this month. The Angels had hoped to stabilize their batting order by dropping outfielder Kole Calhoun from first to fourth and using Aybar in the leadoff spot.

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