Bourjos' AB revitalizes Carp before key homer

After fanning three times, third baseman hits game winner after outfielder's walk

Bourjos' AB revitalizes Carp before key homer

CLEVELAND -- Matt Carpenter hit a two-run homer over the center-field wall at Progressive Field in the eighth inning of Thursday's game against the Tribe, sending the Cards to a 2-1 win.

Carpenter hit the homer, but Peter Bourjos gets at least some of the credit.

Bourjos worked a five-pitch walk one batter prior, and the Indians brought in lefty reliever Marc Rzepczynski to face Carpenter.

And Carpenter had a premonition. He knew it was his time to strike.

Carpenter's two-run homer

"It's just one of those feelings things," Carpenter said. "You can kind of sense the chance of us coming back there with a good at-bat like that."

Four sinkers later, and Carpenter's foresight proved correct.

"I was able to lay off a couple tough sinkers by Rzepczynski and get one up in the zone and put a good swing on it," said Carpenter.

Carpenter had been struggling earlier in the day, and in uncharacteristic fashion. His first three at-bats each ended with a strikeout, making it just the third time in his career that Carpenter finished a game with three strikeouts in four plate appearances. Carpenter watching Bourjos' at-bat from the on-deck circle seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered.

"That was a really good at-bat and it kind of rejuvenated me," Carpenter said of Bourjos. "I knew that I needed to follow up with another good at-bat for a chance to do something. I was able to lay off a couple tough sinkers by Rzepczynski and get one up in the zone and put a good swing on it."

Carpenter's intuition was a particularly gutsy one, given Rzepczynski's success against left-handers throughout his career. The homer that Carpenter hit was the first that Rzepczynski allowed to a lefty since June 12, 2012.

"I think that's the first home run I've given up in a long time against a lefty, so I'm not going to overthink it," Rzepczynski said. "I'm going to keep doing my job and keep going out there. Sometimes, when you throw a ball straight, it gets hit far."

August Fagerstrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.