ST. LOUIS - Like Luke Skywalker taking on the Empire, Jedd-i Gyorko used the force during Wednesday’s Star Wars Night to slay his former team with an electrifying power display.
Gyorko blasted two home runs in the second game of the doubleheader between St. Louis and San Diego after hitting a long ball in the first tilt of the day. More than half of his home runs this year, 11, have come against the Padres.
“I know it always makes things a little sweeter when it’s against a team you’ve been on before,” said Cardinal skipper Mike Matheny. “Jedd’s just taking real good at-bats.”
Neither Matheny nor Gyorko has an answer the 27-year-old's surge in production against the Padres
“If he can’t explain it, then I can’t,” Matheny admitted. “I think he’s the kind of guy that once he gets hot he’ll roll for a while. And right now he’s rolling.”
But it has to feel exceptional knowing Gyorko single-handedly swung the Cardinals past the Padres Wednesday, right? The team who awarded Gyorko a 5-year/ $35 million contract in 2015, then turned around and traded him the following season. However, the trade wasn’t just a straight player for player deal. San Diego included $7.5 million to sweeten the pot for St. Louis. So smashing two jacks and being responsible for the sum total of the Cardinals' offense had to feel good.
“It didn’t suck,” Gyorko said plainly. His second homer of the game earned him his first curtain call. “It feels great, but more importantly we got two wins. I’ve had a couple of good games and I’ll just try to stay locked in and keep it going as long as I can.”
His production could be pivotal to the Cardinals, who sit seven games behind the Cubs and one game back in the Wild Card without Matt Carpenter and Jhonny Peralta for the foreseeable future.
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This was Gyorko’s fourth career multi-homer run game. In two games Wednesday, the Cardinals scored all seven runs courtesy of the long ball.
Additionally, this is the first Star Wars night in three years where the Redbirds did not suffer an injury. In 2013, Shelby Miller was hit by a line drive. In 2014, Yadier Molina tore a ligament in his thumb and in 2015 Matt Holliday re-injured his quad.