Gyorko returns recharged, belts big 3-run HR

Cardinals 3B blows game open after pair of days off

Gyorko returns recharged, belts big 3-run HR

KANSAS CITY -- On Sunday and Monday, Jedd Gyorko watched Greg Garcia start at third base as the Cardinals piled up a combined 24 runs. On Tuesday, Gyorko was back in the lineup and willing and able to join in the offensive fun.

As the Cards matched a club record with a third consecutive double-digit output, Gyorko delivered perhaps the biggest blow in a 10-3 win over the Royals at Kauffman Stadium. St. Louis was up, 4-3, in the fifth when Gyorko crushed a three-run homer to left off Mike Minor, capping a six-run inning that put starter Michael Wacha in position to pick up his ninth win.

"He hit a bomb," Cardinals manager Mike Matheny said. "He needed that, to get a jolt and remind him of the kind of threat he can be."

Having had a couple of days to get in extra work and refresh mentally, Gyorko also drew three walks. That was another positive sign he may be hitting a reset button after some recent struggles.

"It's good to be patient and lay off some tough pitches that I've been swinging at the last couple of weeks," Gyorko said. "It's good to recognize some of those pitches and take the walk."

Gyorko's homer, tracked at 420 feet by Stastcast, was his first since the opening game after the All-Star break at Pittsburgh on July 14.

"A 2-2 pitch and I was just trying to battle," Gyorko said. "I was able to put a good swing on it. I haven't had that good contact for a while. With the situation of the game, it kind of busted it open. Good to get that muscle memory back where it needs to be."

The Cardinals had a nine-run inning Sunday in Cincinnati and six-run innings Monday and Tuesday against the Royals. The fifth-nning uprising in the road trip finale came immediately after Cheslor Cuthbert's three-run double put Kansas City up, 3-1, in the fourth.

"That can be really deflating for a team," Gyorko said. "We kind of took off right there. I think we'll be all right if we can keep having those big innings here and there. It just shows that the guys, from top to bottom, are having great at-bats. I think we're really feeding off each other right now."

Robert Falkoff is a contributor to based in Kansas City. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.