SAN DIEGO (AP) — Jedd Gyorko is starting to look like the player who showed so much promise as a rookie that the San Diego Padres gave him a $35 million contract two weeks into his second season.
Gyorko homered for the second straight game in Thursday's 6-2 loss to Shelby Miller and the St. Louis Cardinals.
The 25-year-old Gyorko is 7 for 14 in five games back from a 44-game stay on the disabled list with plantar fasciitis, including a double, two homers and six RBIs. He is still hitting just .183 but likes how he's come back from the layoff and his struggles earlier this season.
"My swings feel good," Gyorko said. "Everything feels right. I'm not thinking about it. I'm just watching the ball, trying to get a good look at it and just swinging at it. I just look for hard contact. If you get enough hard contact, good things will happen. That's kind of the basis of how hitters go. If we hit the ball hard, that's a success."
Gyorko went deep with one out in the second, hitting a drive to right against Miller for his seventh homer of the season. Will Venable added another solo shot later in the inning for his fifth of the year.
"Jedd's doing well," manager Bud Black said. "That's more like it, the opposite-field power. We saw it a number of times last year. He's swinging better and no complaints about the foot. He's in a good spot. It's good to see that he's having good at-bats and gaining confidence."
Miller and three relievers combined on a three-hitter, and Oscar Taveras hit a two-run homer for the Cardinals, who avoided a three-game series sweep.
The Cardinals acquired right-hander John Lackey from Boston just before the trade deadline to bolster their rotation. They begin a big series against NL Central-leading Milwaukee on Friday in St. Louis.
Miller (8-8) allowed two runs and three hits in six innings in his first win since June 7.
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