It was only two prior at-bats when both were in the American League, but Jhonny Peralta put that experience to good use against J.C. Ramirez on Sunday as the shortstop hit a home run to give his St. Louis Cardinals a 3-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the bottom of the 1oth inning.
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“I faced him before and he’s got a pretty good fastball and slider,” explained Peralta. “When he got me a strike I knew the slider’s coming. He threw the slider right in the middle of the plate, so might as well take advantage.”
“I don’t think about home runs, I think about making contact with the ball. But if the home run comes, it’s better,” smiled Peralta. “When I hit the ball, I hit it pretty good. I know when the ball’s going for a home run, I knew the situation there.”
With the game moving to extra innings, Jhonny was asked if his teammates were more excited about winning the game or getting to go home.
“Both,” laughed Peralta. “A lot of the guys were saying they were hungry, so it was good to win the game right there.”
It was the fourth career walk-off home run for Peralta.
ADAMS FIRST BUNT
–It had been since high school, but Matt Adams safely bunted for a single in Sunday’s game.
“Yes, well–the one in Spring Training but that one doesn’t count,” recalled Adams with a smile. “I was super excited in Spring Training to get one down, but it feels even better to get it down when it counts.”
Adams laid the bunt down towards third base to beat Arizona’s defensive shift of extra fielders to the right side of the infield. It’s a weapon that Matt had worked hard on to build confidence with during Spring Training and had yet to find the right opportunity to employ during the regular season.
“I’m going to pick my places to try and do it,” said Adams. “Saw the shortstop was way back and the guy liked to come after guys with a fastball, he had thrown a sinker so I thought it was a good pitch to do it on.”
“Loved it, I was on the top step cheering,” said Mike Matheny. “I just think it’s going to buy him about a dozen more hits. If he shows that he can do that–and he might have to show he can do it with one strike too because there’s a lot of teams waiting until he gets a strike. But he did it perfect. He squared around real early and was very accurate with what he was trying to do. It’s going to open up some holes on the infield for him, that’s huge.”
Adams also picked up an RBI in the 1st inning as Kolten Wong scored on a force play. It was the fifth RBI in the last six games for Adams.
photo credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports