Just the other day, Matt Hague found the weight room.
The third baseman, who turned 29 earlier this week, is still learning the nooks and crannies of Coca-Cola Field since joining the Buffalo Bisons on Aug. 20.
While he’s still finding his way around the home clubhouse, he’s fitting in nicely on the field.
In his first four games with the Herd he’s hit 8 for 18, driving in six runs and providing another offensive spark for the team’s great playoff chase. In Saturday’s 15-2 win over Pawtucket, he doubled and scored a run in the first then led off with a homer in the sixth.
“Honestly, the first couple of days have been awesome,” Hague said. “It’s real laid back. Guys are a lot of fun. And we play. It’s fun coming to a team that competes.”
Hague was claimed off waivers from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Aug. 18 and the Toronto Blue Jays assigned him to Buffalo.
It’s the first new organization for Hague, who was in the Pirates’ chain for six years. He was an International League all-star with the Indianapolis Indians this year and in 2011. Last year he was Indy’s most valuable player after hitting .285 in 142 games and leading the league in doubles with 37.
Hague said he was happy when the Blue Jays claimed him off waivers, and, while it’s a new organization, there’s a certain amount of familiarity with his new teammates.
“A lot of the guys I played with or played against coming up,” Hague said. “I probably know half the team.”
Hague and outfielder Dalton Pompey have been the most recent additions to the team.
Pompey, a 16th-round pick of the Blue Jays in 2010, played 70 games in Single-A Dunedin and then was promoted to Double-A New Hampshire, where he played 31 games.
In his Triple-A debut, the 21-year-old went 1 for 4, but on Friday he found a groove, going 2 for 5 while scoring three runs.
“They’ve obviously responded in the short time they’ve been here,” manager Gary Allenson said. “Pompey got it going with the bat and his speed. … Hague’s got some big hits for us. He’s the kind of guy who’s a run producer. He likes to hit with guys on base.”
It had been three days where the Bisons had a consistent roster. The way this season has gone, that had to change.
Before the game, the Blue Jays selected the contract of reliever Sergio Santos. The team announced on Twitter a corresponding roster move will be made today.
Santos, who started the season with Toronto, made 11 appearances with the Herd since he was designated for assignment and outrighted to Buffalo on July on 25. Santos had 16 strikeouts in 10∏ innings pitched.
The series continues today (1:05 p.m., Radio 1520 AM) with Sean Nolin scheduled to start for the Herd. Nolin is 4-5 with a 3.45 ERA. He’s coming off a tough outing on Aug. 19 where he gave up six runs on five hits in four innings.
Pawtucket will counter with right-hander Anthony Ranaudo (14-4, 2.46), the International League leader in wins. The No. 5 prospect in the Boston Red Sox organization, the 24-year-old has made two major league starts, winning both of them.