ST. LOUIS -- Having had a first-inning home run scooped away by Juan Perez's sensational climb and catch, Cards outfielder Stephen Piscotty ensured he hit his next one where even the speedy Giants center fielder couldn't track it down.
Though robbed of a chance at his first multi-homer game, Piscotty settled for a third-inning solo blast that loomed largely in the team's eventual 4-3 win over the Giants on Wednesday. That one he hit several rows deep into the left-field seats, where no one but a fan could make a play.
"Just forget about it and go to the next at-bat," Piscotty said of being on the wrong end of Perez's defensive gem. "That's what I was trying to do."
Piscotty, who has now hit safely in 21 of 27 games since being called up, drilled a 1-0 fastball from starter Matt Cain to right-center in the first inning that, according to Statcast™ measurements, traveled 397 feet and came off Piscotty's bat at 101 mph.
But Perez used the padded wall as his step stool, balanced himself and snagged the ball before it landed in the shrubbery.
"I felt good about it off the bat and started running, and I peeked to check as I got to the bag, and as soon as I looked up, I saw him leave his feet," Piscotty said. "All I remember seeing is him coming back with the ball in his hand. I thought, 'Man, that's tough.' He made an unbelievable catch. I wish I would have had that homer, but that was a nice play."
Cardinals Manager Mike Matheny later described it as "one of the best catches I think we've seen in a long time."
But Perez only delayed Piscotty's trot around the bases. Three days after the rookie outfielder connected for his first career home run, he delivered a third-inning solo homer that gave the Cardinals an early 2-0 lead. In less than a month in the Majors, Piscotty now has 12 extra-base hits.
The strong start comes after months of fine-tuning his swing mechanics so that he could generate more power. That work has continued here.
"Since I got here, I've been working with [hitting coach John Mabry] at just trying to take it slow as far as putting a lot of stuff on my plate," Piscotty said. "He's done a really good job with just kind of letting me go out and play and just giving me a nugget of information that can help. That's been helping and I feel more and more comfortable every day."