If Jedd Gyorko hits as well for the Cardinals as he did against them, St. Louis will have added a productive batter to its lineup.
Acquired by the Cardinals from the Padres in a trade for outfielder Jon Jay on Dec. 8, 2015, Gyorko entered the 2016 season as a versatile infielder who can perform at second base, shortstop and third base.
His career batting average versus the Cardinals is .342 (25-for-73), with five home runs and 16 RBI in 20 games.
Two of Gyorko’s best games came against the Cardinals in 2014.
Here is a look at those performances:
Batting sixth and playing second base, Gyorko was 3-for-5 with four RBI and two runs scored against the Cardinals in a 12-1 Padres victory at San Diego on July 30, 2014.
He got a hit apiece off three pitchers.
Gyorko began his barrage with a solo home run in the fourth inning off starter Joe Kelly.
“Pitches were up that should have been down,” Kelly told the Associated Press.
In the sixth, Gyorko singled off Carlos Martinez. An inning later, with the bases loaded and one out, Gyorko hit a three-run double off Seth Maness, giving San Diego a 9-1 lead.
‘It was probably our ugliest loss of the year,” said Cardinals manager Mike Matheny.
Gyorko had been activated two days earlier after a 44-day stint on the disabled list because of foot problems.
“It obviously feels good to swing the bat the way I wanted to,” Gyorko said. “It feels a lot like how I was swinging it there at the end of the year last year. It’s something to build on, but I still have a long way to go.” Boxscore
Two weeks later, on Aug. 16, 2014, at St. Louis, Gyorko hit a grand slam, lifting the Padres to a 9-5 victory over the Cardinals.
Batting fifth and playing second base, Gyorko was 2-for-3 with five RBI, two runs scored and two walks.
In the third, Gyorko’s two-out, RBI-single off Shelby Miller scored Abraham Almonte from third base, sparking a four-run Padres inning and tying the score at 4-4.
Said Miller: “Unacceptable. Obviously, it doesn’t sit well with me. I should have done a better job of making pitches.”
The Cardinals led, 5-4, entering the seventh. With one out and the bases loaded, Gyorko connected on a 94-mph fastball from reliever Kevin Siegrist, launching a grand slam over the left field wall and giving the Padres an 8-5 lead.
“It was a fastball down and in,” Gyorko said. “It probably wasn’t a bad pitch. I just put a good swing on it.”
The home run was the 31st of Gyorko’s big-league career, moving him past Mark Loretta as the Padres’ all-time home run leader as a second baseman.
“That’s a credit to the guys hitting in front of me,” Gyorko told the San Diego Union-Tribune. “Really, they are doing a great job of getting on base. I just have to capitalize more like tonight.”
The grand slam was the third of Gyorko’s big-league career and the only one yielded by Siegrist with the Cardinals. Boxscore
Afterward, Siegrist was demoted to the minor leagues and Martinez was recalled from Class AAA Memphis to replace him.
Said Matheny of Siegrist: “He feels physically strong, but there’s just something that’s a click off.”
Previously: Jon Jay matched Curt Flood as flawless in center