Bourjos shines against Reds, showcases speed in 3-hit day -

Bourjos shines against Reds, showcases speed in 3-hit day

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By John Bailey By John Bailey

(BaseballStL) — When it rains it pours, and for Peter Bourjos, it’s a veritable monsoon. Perhaps that’s a bit dramatic, but after going O-fer in the first two series of the year, the 27-year-old has found success in St. Louis.

Following up his two- hit day in the home opener, Bourjos picked up hits three four and five, while adding his first RBI and scoring twice for the Cardinals. 

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While it may have felt like breakthrough, he never felt like he was far away from success.

"I think it’s been building up to this," he said Tuesday. "I was getting some good swings on the ball and now I’m getting some more results." 

It was frustrating run to start the season, marked by solid defense against him and perhaps a mounting pressure within to mark his first hit. Monday saw him succeed in that regard, picking up two hits in front of the St. Louis faithful.

"It felt more comfortable getting the first hit out of the way," he said in the clubhouse. "It makes a big difference."

While Bourjos' first hit was a broken-bat flair into center, his success Tuesday was far more emphatic.

After a single in the second, he used his considerable speed to advance to third on a fielder’s choice and later scored on a single from Matt Carpenter.

Manager Mike Matheny praised the heads-up move, noting the impact a fleet-footed player has on every play. 

"That speed doesn’t take a day off. It makes everybody react," he said. "Sometimes it puts extra pressure on [the defense] to where they’re trying to make a play where the wouldn’t necessarily otherwise if it wasn’t for a speed guy."

Bourjos' second hit, and second double on the year, came on a poke into right field past Joey Votto that skimmed over the top of the bag. Not to be outdone by the Reds’ Billy Hamilton, the Cardinal center fielder flew around the turn and into second with ease. 

It was a strange-looking ball, especially from a right-handed hitter, but the Illinois native enjoyed the opportunity to exploit the unsual flight path.

"That may be my first one, but hopefully it’s not my last," he laughed. "I like those. That was pretty nice." 

In the seventh, he turned a lead off double by Yadier Molina into an insurance run, when he scorched a liner into center to score the Cardinal catcher. 

With two solid days at the plate and an eye-popping display of speed, Bourjos can put the pressure to bed. It's something Matheny is glad to see, knowing just how badly players who join new teams want to make an impression. 

"Everybody does, but it’s a little different when you’re trying to make your mark on the club and a fan base. I think now he’s ready to just go play the game instead of having to think about making that impression," he said. "He’s exciting to watch. He knows how to use his speed and it’s going to be fun to continue to watch him."

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