6/28 Byrd survives 1st rehab game

Marlon Byrd has not faced live pitching since May 21 when he was hit in the face by a pitch. The Cubs center fielder didn’t have to wait long to see if he’d flinch. In his first rehab game Monday night, he was hit in the left shoulder by a pitch. Byrd was playing for Triple-A Iowa, which needed a game-winning pinch-hit RBI single by Chris Robinson in the 15th to beat Albuquerque, 6-5. Byrd was hit by a pitch in the third. Darwin Barney, rehabbing from a sprained left knee, then singled and both scored on Tyler Colvin’s home run. Byrd played 10 innings and was 0-for-3 with a walk. John Gaub picked up the win, pitching four shutout innings in relief. He struck out seven. Five Iowa pitchers combined to fan 19 to tie a franchise record.

“I thought I’d have jitters but I didn’t,” Byrd told reporters in Des Moines. “I got hit by a pitch. That was something I needed.”

He flew out to left in the first, was hit by a pitch and scored in the third, grounded out to shortstop in the fourth and walked in the seventh, then stole second before scoring on Bryan LaHair’s single. In the ninth, Byrd flew out. He’s wearing a batting helmet with a flap that covers his left cheek.

* Bobby Scales is headed to Japan. Scouts from the Nippon Ham Fighters approached Scales about playing in Japan. His teammate there would be former Cubs prospect Micah Hoffpauir.

“As soon as they told me that, I checked the clock to see what time it was over there,” Scales said. “I waited until a decent time to call ‘Hoffie’ and he told me it’d be a good deal.”

The decision came quickly. Scales settled matters on Monday, and he’s leaving Thursday. Scales, 33, who was playing his 12th Minor League season, hopes to be in the lineup with the Nippon Ham Fighters on Saturday. His wife, Monica, agreed to the move.

“Hopefully, this is a good thing,” Scales said. “If I play the way I’ve been playing all season, I would like to keep playing over there.”

He was batting .304 with 22 doubles and nine homers with Iowa.

– Carrie Muskat

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