ALTOONA, Pa. — Jose Reyes’ first rehab game with the Binghamton Mets was uneventful.
Reyes was hitless in four at-bats and the B-Mets blew a six-run lead, losing to the Altoona Curve, 8-7, in an Eastern League game before a crowd of 4,362 Tuesday night at Peoples Natural Gas Field.
Reyes started at third base, but was replaced by Matt Oberste after 6 ½ innings.
“I was a little tired,” said Reyes, who expects to play in the series finale Wednesday. “I had a long drive here today.”
In his first three at-bats — all righthanded — Reyes popped out to first base, grounded out to second and popped out to the catcher. In his only appearance from the left side of the plate, he grounded into a fielder’s choice.
“I put the ball in play,” he said. “I’m making contact and sooner or later, they’ll fall in. My body feels real good. I just need my timing.”
Signed to a minor league contract by the Mets last Saturday, Reyes played two games at third base for the Brooklyn Cyclones (short season-A) before being transferred to the B-Mets. Reyes played for Binghamton in 2002, but did not play in Altoona.
“I didn’t have too much action around third base (in Brooklyn),” he said “so I’m looking forward to having a little more action here.”
He didn’t get much action Tuesday, either. He caught a pop fly in the second, but had an infield hit go off his glove in the sixth. Those were his only defensive chances.
“That’s what I want, a little action,” he said. “There was nothing crazy. The more action I see, the more comfortable I’ll get.”
The 33-year-old said he doesn’t have a timetable for his return to the major leagues.
“I don’t want to put a number on it,” he said. “I just want to go hard day by day. Today? Tomorrow? I don’t know how long. I feel like my timing is good, but I don’t know — two games, three games, four games?
“I want to join the big league club as soon as possible, so I’ll do whatever [it takes].”
Reyes said the game is different at every level.
“Game speed, that’s what I need,” he said, “so I need to see a little more action and we’ll go from there. To get my timing, I just need to see a lot of pitching — a couple seven-pitch at-bats, something like that.
“I want a couple of ground balls and need to move around in the field. Catching the ball won’t be an issue with me, but I need to work on it.”
A shortstop most of his career, Reyes said he played “two or three games at third in my first big-league camp in 2002, but other than that, not much.”
He has played second base in the majors, though.
“You’ve got to do a lot more things at second, like turn the double play,” he said. “Third base is a reaction position, and I feel comfortable at second, but I’ll get used to third.”
Reyes played parts of 13 seasons in the majors with the Mets, Marlins, Blue Jays and Rockies and won the 2011 National League batting title (.337) as a Met. He was a four-time NL all-star.