CHICAGO(AP) A few minutes after his manager referred to him as ''Scalesie,''
was invited into the postgame interview room for the first time in his short - but so far storybook - big league career.
So the 31-year-old rookie finally has made it, right?
''I don't know about that,'' he said, ''but it sure is a step in the right direction.''
After 11 years in the minors, Scales has made all the right steps since the
called him up last week. He had a pair of two-run doubles in Thursday's 11-3 victory over the
San Diego Padres
, giving him at least one hit in each of his six major league games and lifting his average to .444.
''Scalesie is swinging the bat,'' manager
said. ''He wants some playing time. He's taking advantage of it. It's a nice story.''
A made-for-TV story? Or maybe one headed directly to the big screen? It's not every day that a ballplayer who needs to supplement
his income by working as a substitute teacher during the offseason makes an immediate impact in the big leagues.
''No, no, no, no,'' Scales said, laughing. ''You're going to have to talk to my marketing people: my wife.''
homered for the fourth consecutive game but couldn't prevent San Diego from losing its 11th straight on the road, its longest
skid in 38 years. Afterward, Padres manager
held a brief closed-door meeting.
''We addressed a lot of things,'' he said. ''Anytime you're mired in a funk like this, there's a lot of emotion that goes
on. Frustration is one of them.''
Since getting off to a 10-6 start, the Padres are 3-16.
''We're trying but it's just not happening, so we have to make it happen,'' said Gonzalez, whose team was outscored 42-18
during its 0-6 road trip. ''I think we can only go up from here.''
For one thing, San Diego pitchers could start throwing strikes. The Padres issued 10 walks Thursday - seven by starter
- and lead the majors with 148 free passes.
Meanwhile, Cubs starter
(3-2) had one of his best games of the year, allowing two runs and three hits over seven innings. He also drove in two runs
with a double and a single as the Cubs completed their first three-game sweep of the Padres at home since 1999.
''I've finally got an average. Yay!'' said Dempster, who had been 0 for 17 without an RBI.
Chicago, which has a four-game winning streak, matched its season high for runs despite playing without
. Ramirez is on the disabled list and the other sluggers were given the day off.
Gonzalez's 14th homer made it 1-all in the fourth. He became the first batter this season to hit a ball over Wrigley Field's
right-field bleachers and onto Sheffield Avenue.
Gaudin (0-3), a former Cubs reliever who was bitter after being released during spring training, allowed only one hit and
pitched out of some major jams in the first four innings. But he opened the fifth by walking the bases loaded and was relieved
, who walked
to put the Cubs ahead.
and Scales followed with consecutive two-run doubles, and Scales scored on Dempster's bloop single off
to make it 7-1.
The Cubs added four more in the sixth on Scales' second two-run double,
' RBI single and Dempster's double into the gap.
, the Cubs' $91.5 million ace, said he won't be bunting for hits when he comes off the DL next week. ''For a month, I'll be
running like Geo Soto, just taking my time,'' he said. Zambrano, who strained his left hamstring while legging out a bunt
on May 3, is scheduled to make a minor league rehab start Sunday before returning to the Cubs' rotation May 22 at San Diego.
... Padres SS
, who sprained his left ankle Wednesday, is expected to go on the DL. ... Cubs OF
is batting .462 during a seven-game hitting streak. ... Since
won April 16, San Diego starters are 0-12 with a 5.47 ERA.