Gyorko homers for Padres in win over Brewers
MARYVALE, Ariz. (AP) — Jedd Gyorko entered spring training with his sights set on winning the San Diego Padres' second base job. Four days into spring training games, lots of eyes are suddenly on him.
The 2010 second-round pick out of West Virginia hit his second homer of the spring, a two-run shot that helped the Padres beat a Milwaukee Brewers split-squad 7-1 Monday.
Gyorko, who hit .311 with 30 home runs in the minors last season, has eight RBIs.
The 24-year-old played third base for the Mountaineers and in the minors but he has experience at second base, and he's enjoying the transition.
"I'm having fun at second and the key is just getting better each day," Gyorko said. "It helps that we have an extended spring this year and I get to play a ton of games to get work in."
He's been very comfortable at the plate. He hit a 410-foot homer to center field off Milwaukee starter Hiram Burgos Monday and a grand slam against Seattle on Saturday.
"The game is all about scoring and my offense has to be there. I know that's my ticket. I've gotten a couple of pitches I can handle and credit the other guys for getting on," he said.
San Diego manager Bud Black likes the versatility of having guys like Gyorko, Logan Forsythe and Everth Cabrerra in the infield. Forsythe played third Monday and will play shortstop later this week. And finding a way to get Gyorko's bat in the lineup plays into that.
"His transition has been pretty seamless so far, he worked a lot back home in West Virginia and he has second base in his past," Black said. "He has great self-confidence in his ability to play the game, both offense and defense. Some of the things you are seeing here early are some of the things our minor league people have told us all along. His bat comes highly regarded."
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