ST. LOUIS -- Last week, second baseman Jedd Gyorko was playing for Triple-A El Paso in Tacoma, trying to remedy the offensive struggles that led to his demotion on June 10. On Friday, three days after he returned to San Diego's lineup, Gyorko put a few things he's been working on to good use in a 2-1 victory over the Cardinals at Busch Stadium.
Gyorko hit a homer in the seventh inning off Cardinals starter Michael Wacha to tie the score, then knocked in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning off closer Trevor Rosenthal, stunning the sold-out crowd of 47,330.
"That guy is tough. He's got a ... what, 0.50 ERA? There's a reason why he's got good stuff," said Gyorko said of Rosenthal. "[I was] kind of battling, went back and forth, there were a couple of pitches that were close.
"I was able to get a barrel on the last slider."
On the eighth pitch of the at-bat against Rosenthal -- who hadn't allowed a run since May 3, a stretch of 23 2/3 innings -- Gyorko lined a slider to left field to knock in Yangervis Solarte, who had tripled to right-center with one out.
"It just wasn't a good pitch," said Rosenthal, who now has a 0.72 ERA. "I tried to go more away with it and kind of left it up, and he was able to make a good swing on it.
"Getting ahead, 1-2, I thought I made some good pitches. A couple were close. He did a good job laying off of them and just getting a mistake up."
As for Gyorko, who is 4-for-12 in his first three games back from the Minors, this is all a work in progress. He now looks at his time with El Paso as a blessing, not a setback.
"I just think getting to play every day [was good]," he said. "Get the extra at-bats, getting in tune with my swing to where it needs to be. The rest of my career, it's going to be a constant battle to keep finding these keys to get me back locked in as soon as I can."
Interim manager Pat Murphy, who was El Paso's skipper when Gyorko was sent there, has already seen some things he likes about Gyorko's swing and approach.
"He's a little more compact, he's way more confident. He knows we believe in him. I'm excited about what he's doing. You look at his 12 at-bats, I think seven or eight are hard contact," said Murphy.
"Jedd's feeling great about who he is. His two-strike approach is better, he's hitting the ball to right-center. He looks great. This is the Jedd Gyorko I knew three or four years ago in Spring Training. That drag in his swing or loop in his swing seems to be corrected."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.