Angels Aybar, Mathis, Bell and Thompson Shine in MLB All-Star Taiwan Series

Gil ImberAnalyst IINovember 7, 2011

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 29:  Erick Aybar #2 and Jeff Mathis #5 of the Los Angeles Angels celebrate a three run double by Bobby Abreu #53 to take a 6-3 lead over the Texas Rangers during the sixth inning at Angel Stadium on June 29, 2010 in Anaheim, California.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

When Major League Baseball sent a group of big leaguers to Taiwan to compete in a five-game series with the Chinese Taipei national team, Los Angeles Angels Erick Aybar, Trevor Bell, Jeff Mathis and Rich Thompson were part of the pack.

Other Angels traveling with the team included Dr. Craig Milhouse (All-Star team physician) and Tom Taylor (team traveling secretary).

Game 1: With the MLB All-Stars facing a precarious one-out, bases loaded situation in the bottom of Game 1's second inning, Aybar and Yankees sensation Robinson Cano came to the rescue. Cano shoveled a grounder to Aybar at second base, who leaped over a sliding Taiwanese baserunner to complete the inning-ending double play.

Had Taiwan scored in the second inning, they would have scored first in the series and seized the early momentum. Instead, the MLB All-Stars took advantage in the top of the third, after Aybar drew a walk to load the bases. Curtis Granderson next stepped to the plate and put the game out of reach with a grand slam to dead center field.

Bell added one shutout inning of work as the MLB All-Star team won the opener, 7-0.  

Game 2: Aybar started Thursday's contest with a bang, leading off the game with a double before coming around to score on a Granderson fielder's choice.

Within hours of winning his first career Gold Glove Award, Aybar again proved his worth, completing a wonderful bare-handed play to end the third inning of Game 2.

Thompson pitched another inning of scoreless baseball, and the MLB All-Stars took Game 2, earning a hard-fought 5-3 victory.

Aybar's athleticism proved very valuable for the MLB All-Stars in Taiwan
Aybar's athleticism proved very valuable for the MLB All-Stars in TaiwanHarry How/Getty Images

Game 3: If the Angels were going to take any days off while in Taiwan, it might as well have been on Friday. Mathis did not start while Bell and Thompson did not pitch.

It was the right day to rest, as the MLB squad cruised to an easy 6-2, series-clinching victory. 

Game 4: Saturday's contest was the first afternoon game of the series and it was also the closest. Aybar once again was a key player for the MLB All-Stars, hitting an RBI triple to knot the contest at one in the third inning.

Bell pitched two innings of one-run baseball and the MLB All-Stars took Game 4 by the score of 3-2. 

Game 5: During Sunday's series finale, Mathis and Aybar were ready to help. Mathis had a key RBI single while Aybar picked him up with an RBI double, one of Aybar's three times reaching base.

Thompson pitched two scoreless innings of relief as the All-Stars won the finale, 6-4, and completed the five-game sweep.

If you missed any part of the MLB-Taiwain series, you can watch the full games on MLB's website with a valid MLB.TV account.