Second baseman Bobby Scales wasn't even in the New York Mets' organization until April 1. But with prospect Reese Havens nursing an injury, the Mets were looking for some infield help in Buffalo and they've received plenty from the 34-year-old veteran.
Scales posted the Bisons' first four-hit game of the season Saturday, going 4 for 5 and finishing a triple shy of the cycle in the Herd's 9-6 loss to the Pawtucket Red Sox in Coca-Cola Field.
The switch-hitting Scales has played in eight of Buffalo's 10 games and leads the team in batting at .458. He's 11 for 23, with his 11 hits tied for second on the club. Pretty good first impression for a new organization from a free agent.
"It feels good," Scales said. "You'd like to do something like that in a win but anytime you can get four hits, five hits, whatever, it does feel good. But the bigger issue is having a good process. If you have a good process, good approach, I'm a believer that if you do those things, good results will come."
Scales has had plenty of good results since becoming a Triple-A regular in 2004. He hit .291 for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre in 2006, .294 for Pawtucket in 2007 and .320 for the Iowa Cubs in 2008. He spent the last four years mostly with Iowa (batting .304 last year) and got in 61 games in Chicago as well, making his big-league debut at age 31.
Scales finished last year in Japan and asked for his release late in spring training when it appeared there was no room at the inn for him in Chicago.
"What I've found out since then is if you leave, it's kind of out of sight, out of mind," he said. "They know you, they remember you but they move on to a different plan and different guys. It's what it is but I'm happy to be in the Mets organization know and here in Buffalo and we'll see what happens."
"He's a great player to have on your team, at this level, the big-league level, anywhere," said manager Wally Backman. "He knows how to play the game, knows what it takes to be a winner and he showed it again today."
A suburban Detroit native who played at the University of Michigan, Scales was a 14th-round pick of the San Diego Padres in 1999 and was with the Padres for seven years, getting as high as Triple-A Portland.
His game Saturday featured a double in the first, a single in the third, an infield single in the fifth and two-run homer to left, his first of the season, in the seventh that closed the scoring.
"I came through here years ago as a visitor and I know there's a little jet stream that way," Scales said. "I knew I hit it well but I didn't know if it was going to be too high. Fortunately, the wind caught it and took it."
Scales had a chance for the cycle in the ninth but took a called third strike. The only Bison to hit for the cycle in 25 seasons at Coca-Cola Field was Alex Ramirez in a 1998 playoff game against Syracuse.