ANAHEIM -- Angels shortstop Erick Aybar got the day off against the Rays on Wednesday in favor of Brandon Wood, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia insisted it wasn't punishment for Aybar forgetting how many outs there were in the second inning of Tuesday's 10-3 loss.
Aybar caught a pop fly in that inning, but thought it was the third out, allowing B.J. Upton to tag up and score on the play and John Jaso to tag second and advance to third. But Scioscia said Aybar simply needed rest on Wednesday, as he's started every game but one at shortstop since July 30.
"I think Erick's been playing a lot," Scioscia said. "It's just a good time today with the day off tomorrow to try and reset him a little bit and refresh him."
Scioscia did say he had a conversation with Aybar about his mental mistake on Tuesday, but that he isn't worried about Aybar suffering from a lack of focus moving forward.
"Any time a player loses track of a situation, it could be a variety of causes, but a lack of focus is usually the one," Scioscia said. "I think it's obvious that when something like that happens, it's a mental mistake, and you have to get to the root of it. So maybe a guy needs a day off and is grinding too much, or maybe it's just something you turn the page on."
Wood still possesses shortstop's pride
ANAHEIM -- Brandon Wood's start at shortstop on Wednesday was his first since June 25.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia said Wood is currently the club's backup shortstop, with Maicer Izturis on the disabled list, and that he could see playing time there moving forward.
"I think with Maicer out, Brandon is obviously No. 2 on our shortstop depth chart and is a guy who feels it there, because he's a shortstop and has that pride," Scioscia said before Wednesday's series finale. "He's played some first and some third, but still has that pride to play shortstop, which is important. So it might be something we have to tap into, and we'll do it today."
Scioscia convinced Angels still in it
ANAHEIM -- The Angels entered Wednesday a season-worst 10 games back of the American League West-leading Rangers, but Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he's not ready to concede the division just yet.
"It's baseball," Scioscia said. "We love it and have a passion for it, so the fact that we're right now not exactly where we want to be doesn't change our approach from today's game or moving forward to where we think we will be by the end of the season. We have a challenge in front of us, but it's something we can accomplish, if we get into our game. So that's our day-to-day focus."
Scioscia also made sure to say that his plan isn't to play young players over veterans right now, because the club's goal is to still win games.
"Guys are on our roster because we feel there's a role for these guys to help us win games," Scioscia said. "We have a pretty good grasp of what guys can do on our roster, so I don't know if anything is going to happen in the last 30 or 40 games that's gonna change our evaluations."
Kohn, Walden impressing Halos
ANAHEIM -- Angels manager Mike Scioscia said he has been impressed with young relievers Michael Kohn and Jordan Walden, who have done well when called upon out of the bullpen recently.
Kohn, 24, who has a 3.27 ERA in 11 appearances, and Walden, 22, who has a 4.50 ERA in two appearances, have both been solid additions for an Angels' bullpen that entered Wednesday with a 4.27 ERA that ranked 10th in the American League.
"These guys are just cutting their baby teeth right now," Scioscia said. "They're taking baby steps, but I think they've shown great poise on the mound for youngsters coming up. Becoming a Major League pitcher is a process and this is the first steps of it, but they've certainly taking that step and meeting the challenge head-on."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.